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Golf, Trade and Ballistic Missiles—

featured_trump_abe_elsFolks would be surprised at how helpful a game of golf is in sizing up a negotiation partner before an actual negotiation. It is also good at building a relationship.


President Donald Trump had four hours of golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South African champion golfer Ernie Els. I’m sure it helped in the negotiations with Prime Minister Abe. The question is whether Els had anything to say about South Africa, but we do know Els high fived the President after he teed off (right).

At least, now we know the President has contact with South Africans Sol Kerzner and Ernie Els. Will the truth about South Africa be forthcoming from those two? Who knows?

Els is the second champion golfer to have a few rounds with the President since his inauguration. The President’s own Facebook page gives some information.

Of course, Kim Jong-un of North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile in the direction of Japan over the same weekend. This is a clear test of the new US President. It does NOT look like their longest range system to me. It looks more like a “Yoohoo! Over here!” call for attention by a warped and infantile creature who threatens the planet while his people starve. Over the same weekend he appears to have had his half-brother murdered.

This is serious stuff, though. It forced Trump to state his military support for Japan.