The irony is startling, if we would but notice.
On April 4, the Trump Administration issued a statement criticizing its predecessor because
These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.
The anti-red line policy evidently applies only to Syria. Four months after blasting Obama for establishing a "red line" against Damascus, President Trump would tell reporters at his golf club (membership $450,000 plus annual dues) in Bedminster, NJ “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Promptly after Trump threatened to act if North Korea issued more threats, Pyongyang threatened to send missiles toward Guam and labeled Grump's remark "a load of nonsense." Two weeks later, the annual US-South Korea joint military exercise was met with " The US should not forget that their opponent is armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles (and) should "wake up from their old way of thinking that their land is safe and the death is an affair of others." A few days later, North Korea launched a missile over northern Japan.
The following week UN ambassador Nikki Haley declared “We have kicked the can down the road long enough, There is no more road left.” With Friday morning's news from Tokyo, the AP reports
Since President Donald Trump threatened the North with "fire and fury" in August, Pyongyang has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into the waters around the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and launched two missiles of increasing range over Japan. July saw its first tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.
The "detour" and "do not enter" signs have been removed, revealing the road Haley denied existed. s. The President draws a red line, backs down when North Korea crosses it. Then the "no more road left" official draws a red line. Rason still stands. Kasong still stands. Pyongyang still stands. So does Kim Jong Un.
The Administration's loose talk is striking. When Trump calls London subway terrorists "losers" (not "threatening" or "evil," but "losers"), he encourages further attacks, possibly intentionally. When he threatens Pyongyang and is called on it, he unintentionally encourages Kim's bellicosity, as has Haley's stupid remark.
President Trump likes to draw red lines, no less bright because (unlike President Obama) he is wise enough not to label them as "red lines." It may fool the media, or the latter may be too intimidated to raise the alarm. Kim Jong Un recognizes it, however. Hopefully, he'll realize that eventually, Donald Trump may actually decide the tough guy act should be the opening act in what would be a catastrophic war on the Korean Peninsula.