In the video, Trump is talking to Kim in language the two men understand. All the more so because—as the Twittersphere has sniggeringly noted—the video does resemble North Korean propaganda. It doesn’t hurt that both Kim and his father, Kim Jong Il, were said to love Hollywood movies (which perhaps is why the video included a shot of Sly Stallone in the White House). The hackneyed scenes in the Trump video in which the celluloid starts to burn and melt while the narrator is talking about the dangers of “going back” are cinematically brilliant, at least in terms of North Korean sensibilities. They provide a just-unsubtle-enough reminder to Kim that if Pyongyang doesn’t denuclearize, Trump still has “fire and fury” in his back pocket.
All of which brings us to the key point: What exactly do we have to lose by being nice, by stroking Kim’s ego and promising him “prosperity like he has never seen” (to quote the video) and long-sought-for acceptance? Our pride? Just about everything else has been tried—sanctions upon sanctions—and still the Kim regime has marched to the precipice of invulnerability to U.S. retaliation. It is within months of testing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach U.S. shores, according to some reports.