I have heard pundits, intelligence analysts, politicians and lay people talk, and not talk about the North Korea nuclear arms problem. All the talk is about what Donald Trump is "doing."
The most knowledgeable understand that the United States has very little leverage to impose over the choices North Korea and their leader make. Some understand that China has a stake in the choices North Korea make, but then Donald Trump with his "businessman's view" weighs in, we are in trouble.
Trump, when he was running for president, constantly told the American people "what he was going to do." His constant criticism of Barack Obama convinced his many gullible followers that Obama wasn't doing enough, and the Obama was largely ineffective. The truth is, Obama WAS ineffective but knowing that, focused on other problems. The truth IS that Donald Trump is equally ineffective, perhaps even MORE ineffective and he doesn't know it.
When Trump tweets, because he ran for president, and then won the presidency, the American people tend to listen. Just like when Kim Jong Un speaks, the North Korean people tend to listen. That doesn't make either of them truthful, knowledgeable or right - either in fact, or opinion.
There is absolutely NO reason that Americans should believe Donald Trump, just as North Koreans shouldn't believe Kim Jong Un, except all of our lives hang on their lies, and their braggadocious ego-driven proclamations. Trump presents himself as "getting things done." And points to his "relationships" with President Xi of China and Putin of Russia to "getting them" to "do things" for us. As friends.
But if North Korea is an example, consider what REALLY "gets" Russia and China to "do things."
Barack Obama had it right. Leave them alone except occasional talks on behalf of South Korea and Japan, and China and Russia will work on North Korea on their own. Without the United States having to "give up" anything. Without the lies, the seductions, the bribes and the loss of leverage.
China doesn't NEED American money, American markets, or American approval. After Trump tore up the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement all by himself, he gave China what they wanted for years, an American exit from the largest growing market place on earth - Asia. Of COURSE China's President Xi would go to Mar-A-Lago and eat a shrimp with Trump. China was going to do what China was going to do anyway, and an American fool would give up more, thinking he was getting something. Trump is like someone going in to buy a car, and instead of negotiating the price DOWN, offers to pay more for the radio, the windshield wipers and the hubcaps because his ONLY perspective is that he is such a great negotiator. And then asking for electric windows to be thrown into the bargain. Wow!!! I got a DEAL!!!!!!!!
China was going to try to control North Korea anyway. Anyone without the myopic vision of a Donald Trump living in the bubble of "his" people, could just look at a map, and see this. Would a nuclear bomb blast in Seoul leave China untouched? And would American retaliation under Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or Bush, or Reagan, or Mr. Ed, leave China untouched???? Would any of this leave Russia untouched?
Common sense and understanding other people tells all of us, that if someone needs to do something, they will do it. All you have to ask them is "when." When are you taking out the garbage? When are you moving your car? No one except an idiot offers to pay someone for what they are going to do anyway. Now, Trump, and Republicans, and Americans listening to this gibberish, can't think on their own, and they need "an expert" to tell them. Or a "president."
China has an 880 mile border with North Korea. Russia has a much smaller border, but they still have a border. Neither of those two nuclear global countries have an interest in either a stronger, nuclear North Korea, or an unstable North Korea, or even one angering South Korea, Japan or the United States.
The border fences between China and North Korea, are North Korean. They are poor, razor wire fences put up by a poor country trying to keep their people IN, not keeping the Chinese or Russians OUT. They WANT foreign money. Look at the handbags and clothing of Chinese tourists compared to North Korea's female soldiers. Look at the Chinese cities (Communist but not crazy) with their infrastructure investment between 2005 and 2010. Look at the Chinese military exercises and troop build up on the North Korean - Chinese border and unless you were Trump, you would realize that BOTH China and Russia are heavily invested in tamping down North Korean instability, and tweeting (Trump's, not Un's)
China has provided almost 90% of the economic trade with North Korea, and probably Russia has the other 10%. Neither country has contributed to North Korea's military or nuclear expansion. Neither of them want a nuclear or militarily bellicose neighbor, just as Mexico and Canada don't want a nuclear or militarily bellicose neighbor.
Barack Obama dealt with foreign powers because he had to. That was his job. His goal was to not give them more than America needed to, and dole whatever favors America bestowed judiciously, cautiously and with economic care. Donald Trump drools favors like a St. Bernard that can't help himself. He does it because as a business person, he WANTED favors. He WANTED people to like him. His ego WANTED him to be important.
If you look, you will see. It is obvious.