Kim Jong-un was trained over the last few decades by American presidents to believe that if you threatened to develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. would negotiate with you, give you respect, remove sanctions and even pay you to say you would not nuke us – even as you continued to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles to deliver them.

He learned that you could make a living, if you will, with the threat of nuclear annihilation.

To make matters worse, over the last eight years, Kim saw Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, pay a huge bribe to Iran – not to stop nuclear development at all – but to slow it down, maybe 10 years, despite the fact that Iran was permitted to continue to develop the fissionable material needed to create nuclear weapons.

I haven’t heard anyone else posit this theory, but, isn’t it likely that Kim assumed, like so many other people around the world did, that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected president in 2016? And then, I can only imagine, he was planning to be the next one who got a big payday for threatening to nuke “the Great Satan.”

He probably didn’t see Trump coming, but, based on the past behavior of U.S. presidents he has dealt with, he assumed there wouldn’t be much difference. And, after all, Trump was a billionaire and probably would see nothing wrong with paying another big ransom – a nuclear ransom. It would be a good business deal, he may have reasoned. At the end of the day, it’s the way American presidents of the past have all behaved with North Korea since the war ended.

Well, guess what? Trump is doing now what American presidents of the past should have done: Stand up to this tin-pot tyrant and make sure he understands what we will do to him and his country if he persists in these threats and missile tests. Trump, though, has been placed in a precarious position because all the other presidents just decided to kick the can down the road – just as Obama did with Iran. Let it be some future president’s problem.

Unfortunately, we’re in a very bad position now. There is no more road down which to kick the can. We’re out of road. Out of time. And, very likely, the ONLY solution we may have is some kind of pre-emptive strike to destroy his nuclear arsenal or Pyongyang’s delivery systems.

Obama knew this, by the way. That report we all saw recently explaining that Kim had improved ICBM delivery systems was from years ago. Obama knew Kim had the capability of launching a nuke attack on America. He didn’t tell us. He kept it a secret. He was going to let Hillary deal with it.

I don’t know if a successful pre-emptive strike is possible, but one alternative might be to take out Kim. However, we really don’t know what the consequences of that might be. It’s a very strange and unpredictable family. We really have no idea what the succession plan is. God only knows.

But, if I’m right – and I think I am – what we’re experiencing today with this nuclear threat from Kim was an unintended consequence of what Obama did with Iran. Not only did we buy off Kim in the past, but we paid an even bigger nuclear ransom to his friends in Iran. He doesn’t know why he shouldn’t get the same treatment.

Trump may have been handed, by his predecessors of the recent past – from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama – the thorniest, most dangerous crisis to face an American president since the Cold War days. It’s an existential threat imposed on us by Kim, with the help of our own leaders.

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