Republicans who have suggested Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for a meeting with North Korea's leader that hasn't even happened yet might want to hit the pause button.
Maybe they should have waited for the meeting, scheduled for June 12, to actually take place first.
North Korea is now suggesting that meeting might not happen after all. The Washington Post reports that North Korea is threatening to pull out of the summit over joint military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.
“This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency said, “and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula.”
The drills, known as the Max Thunder exercise, are held annually. But given the tenuous new relationship between Trump and the leader he not so long ago mocked as “Little Rocket Man,” North Korea is apparently using this as an excuse to cast doubt on next month’s meeting.
Not that Trump possibly getting played by North Korea comes as a surprise to everyone.
In fact, former CIA Director John McLaughlin said a month ago — when Republicans were already showering Trump with praise for his possible future summit — that’s exactly what had already happened.
“I am quite confident that North Korea has been studying [Trump] very carefully,” McLaughlin said. “They understand he likes to claim credit for success. And they’ve already given him one thing that is potentially positive.”
Perhaps Trump and his enablers should have saved some of the self-congratulatory hyperbole.
“Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons program and bring peace to the region,” the letter nominating him for a Nobel reads.
Given North Korea’s threat on Tuesday — one that, according to many reports, the White House had not anticipated — that nomination might have been just a tad premature.