Nikki Haley Reveals How Trump Achieved the Impossible on North Korea, Despite Summit Cancellation
Note: While President Donald Trump called off the June 12 Singapore summit with Kim Jong-Un, his diplomatic success in bringing Kim to the table was still remarkable, and North Korea did appear to destroy a nuclear site at Punggye-ri on Thursday.
On Thursday, journalists observed as North Korea apparently destroyed a great deal of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. While North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has threatened to pull out of the summit with President Donald Trump just weeks away, Trump has achieved more than most thought possible. On Tuesday night, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained how it happened.
Haley told a crowd at the University of Houston that she used "the unpredictability of President Trump" to help convince the Chinese to back tougher sanctions on North Korea.
"I would say, 'We have to cut off the (North Korean) laborers', you know? 'We have to do this,'" Haley explained, the New York Post reported. "And they’d say, 'Oh, no, no, we can’t do that.' And I would say, 'OK, but I can’t promise you that President Trump won’t use the military. I can’t promise that there won’t be a more forceful action, so why can’t we do this and see if we can start to cut the revenue in North Korea?'"
Haley's strategy echoed the Nixon-era "madman theory." Then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger came up with the strategy in the 1970s in order to negotiate with Soviets during the Cold War and to keep enemies in the dark.
The UN ambassador explained she wanted to use the strategy to "leverage the situation" in Korea and get China on board before trying the strategy out on Russia and other nations involved in the sanctions.
"We knew that they were worried about a destabilized North Korea," Haley added. "We knew about the pressures they felt like that would put on China. We knew about the idea that they didn’t want war in the region, and so a lot of the sanctions that we did — even though we squeeze China and we knew they hurt — the truth is, I would always use the unpredictability of President Trump to help me get the sanctions through."
"It was through [this strategy] that we did the three sanctions, and by the time I got China to agree to pass those sanctions and I’d get the other countries to agree, then I just told Russia, 'This is getting ready to happen.' And we just kind of pushed them out of the way," the ambassador said.
These comments sparked a round of applause, despite the fact that the crowd had been hostile to Haley at the opening of her speech. Students had organized a protest against the ambassador's support for Israel's response to Hamas riots around the time of the U.S. Embassy's opening in Jerusalem.