Like a two year old who has thrown a tantrum and got his exhausted parents to given in, Kim will reap the benefits of his brinksmanship. The cave-in by the U.S. could also embolden the young man to go even farther next time, testing the limits of American appeasement with even more bellicosity and outrageous behavior.

The metaphor of Charlie Brown, the football, and Lucy comes to mind. Lucy, while seemingly crazy for doing the same thing over and over, makes a rational choice to pull the football back while Charlie Brown holds out hope that this time will be different. Despite severe reservations on his part, Charlie Brown always talks himself into playing the game with Lucy.

Would that U.S. policy makers refuse to play Kim’s game next time.