Former Delegate Scott Lingamfelter is showing no signs of fading into retirement, as the noted military expert is making the rounds.

Lingamfelter’s exposition on what is actually happening on the Korean Peninsula earned the attention of CBN, where Lingamfelter offered his thoughts on camera:

“This first meeting should be keenly focused on the actual steps that North Korea will take to denuclearize and end its ballistic missile program,” said retired Army Col. Scott Lingamfelter.

He says the United States should only move forward with talks if North Korea proves it is serious toward meeting that demand.

The former commander, who served in South Korea, says Kim must be open to inspections and physically turning over rocket pieces – otherwise, no deal with the United States.

“He can’t be trusted,” Lingamfelter warned. “He has absolutely no record, nor did his father or grandfather have any record of reliability when it comes to negotiating with the West in the six power talks. His father walked away.”

In short, North Korea’s posturing may very well be precisely that — posturing, all in an effort to either secure the regime or solidify support for Kim Jong-Un back in Pyongyang.

Alternatively, if the “Hermit Kingdom” is governed by rational self-interest with a keen sense of self-preservation?  Kim Jong-Un is a Western educated man, after all… and while unification on the scale of what Germany engaged upon in the early 1990s may not be in the cards, a closer and more stable transition might be in the works — that is, if the North Koreans believe that the transition will be stable and if the South Koreans (and Japan) believe that such a transition will include a defusing of tensions.

At stake here is a nexus of three booming Pacific economies — South Korea, Japan, and China.  Combined, their GDP stands at close to $17.5 trillion (the United States in comparison is $18.5 trillion GDP).

When even minor trade wars in the region stand to have worldwide economic impact, a regional conflagration would send the world’s economy into a depression — nevermind recessionary pressures.  That’s just on the economic front.  With the American ability to project force into the region lessened by Chinese defensive strength on the mainland, the global deterrence of the US Navy carrier fleet isn’t what it used to be 20 years ago.

Trump’s carrot-and-stick approach to North Korea has thus far seen more stick than carrot.  North Korea to date has been more used to carrots… which is why they have come to the table.  Whether this most recent effort by the North Koreans to play ball is genuine, or in the expectation of more payoffs, remains to be seen.