News & Politics

Trump Plans to Ignore North Korea's Human Rights Abuses in Summit with Dictator

The totalitarian leader seems to be facing no responsibility for his horrific abuses.

Photo Credit: Guardian News

Well of course Trump isn't going to bring up human rights when meeting with the North Korean dictator. That'd be insulting to the nuclear rogue state, and Trump is only insulting to U.S. allies, not dictators.

But two administration officials tell NBC News the U.S. has decided not to bring up human rights at the summit. And Trump has made clear he would be willing to offer security guarantees and financial aid to Kim if he gives up his nuclear arsenal.

Just to refresh the national memory, an American college student recently died after being subjected to brutal treatment in a North Korean prison, one of hundreds of thousands to suffer violence and abuse by the family-run dictatorship. Trump made a big blustering deal of it during a speech or two, but it will not rate mention during the current talks because, well, duh. It is not clear what will rate mention, in fact; it is not possible for the Trump camp to craft a plausible denuclearization deal, and while North Korean leaders would very much like an easing of sanctions placed upon them by the international community, merely meeting with the American leader as a perceived equal has been a primary propaganda objective of the regime since before Kim gained power. For North Korea, that goal is accomplished after the first photo-op.

The meeting will likely consist of the two leaders bonding over their personal toilet choices and otherwise flattering each other, followed by two disparate grand announcements declaring an upcoming breakthrough that will happen Real Soon Now, so long as nobody asks about the timeline or details.

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Be prepared for that. The two sides have already given ample hints that a propaganda victory for the two Dear Leaders is the goal of the summit, not any more substantive agreement. But the press is very, very eager to oblige those needs, on both sides, and there will no doubt be a dozen or more very stupid takes on what great leaders bothinternational rogue actors are for sitting down for tea, talking about nothing, and announcing grand but vaporous breakthroughs that may or may not last the long plane ride home. Our standards have been lowered considerably, in this country; so long as he wears pants the entire time, Trump will get his required praise.

Michael Lazzaro, aka Hunter, is a Daily Kos Contributing Editor.