Suppose my neighbor acquired a bazooka and stored it in his home. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't threaten me with it. I ask him, "John, why have you acquired that bazooka?" He responds, "Just in case you decide to attack me and my family. If you do, we are going to defend ourselves by firing this bazooka at you."
That infuriates me! I am indignant. I demand that John immediately get rid of his bazooka. I hurl insults at him. I threaten him. I openly and publicly declare that I am going to rain fire and fury onto John, his home, and his family if he doesn't get rid of his bazooka.
John responds, "Jacob, if you attack me, you might well prevail and destroy my home and kill my family and me. But rest assured: The minute you attack me, I'm going to fire back at you with my bazooka."
All the neighbors come out to witness my stream of angry outbursts, insults, and threats. The local media comes out to report on the crisis.
At that point, I agree to a meeting with John. We sit down and we discuss the problem. I compliment him, and he promises that at some undefined point in the future, he will give up his bazooka. We go away from the meeting as good friends.
What happens then? Isn't it obvious? I am peacemaker, a statesman, a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Who cares that I am the one precipitated the crisis by demanding that John give up his bazooka? Who cares that I am the one who started the series of angry insults and threats between us? What matters is that I have shown courage and statesmanship by agreeing to sit down with John and make friends with him. Don't I deserve a prize for that?
And that's precisely where we are with President Trump and North Korea. The media has conveniently forgotten that it was Trump who started this entire brouhaha in the first place. North Korea was never threatening to attack the United States. It also wasn't threatening to attack South Korea. Its position was very clear: Our nuclear weapons are not intended to start a war with the United States. Instead, we have them for one reason only: to deter the U.S. government, specifically the Pentagon and the CIA, from attacking North Korea or, in the event of an attack, to have them at our disposal as a way to defend ourselves.
In other words, North Korea's position has always been the same as that of my hypothetical neighbor John.