If Scott Adams’ hypothesis doesn’t sound plausible, read the next post. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:
Prior U.S. presidents framed the North Korean nuclear program as a problem between the United States and North Korea, with China as an unhelpful third party with its own interests. That framing was weak and useless. North Korea did whatever it wanted to do.
President Trump recently changed the frame. Now it’s not so much a problem between the United States and North Korea as it is a branding battle between China and the U.S., with North Korea being the less-important part of the equation. President Trump has said clearly and repeatedly that if China doesn’t fix the problem in its own backyard, the USA will step in to do what China couldn’t get done.
See the power in that framing? China doesn’t want a weak “brand.”
With the new framing, we already see China talking tougher about North Korea. They stopped buying North Korean coal, which is something they said they would do before Inauguration Day. But by then, Trump had already reframed the situation the way I described. And he was weeks from being Commander-in-Chief when he did it.
The only thing lacking in Trump’s reframing was a credible threat that he would launch a decapitation strike against North Korea. That problem was solved over chocolate cake at Mar Lago when the visiting Premiere of China, Li, observed Trump give the order to send 59 Tomahawk missiles into a sovereign country that had pissed him off just a few days earlier.
Then Trump ordered an “armada” of American warships to the vicinity of North Korea just to remind Li that we have options.
Trump also suggested that our trade negotiations with China will go a lot better if North Korea is no longer a problem. Trump didn’t go so far as to suggest adding a “North Korea tax” to Chinese imports, to pay for our military presence in South Korea, but I like to think it is an option.
To continue reading: The North Korea Reframe