Kim Jong Un Takes Major Step Towards Denuclearization
Despite plenty of criticism from the mainstream media, doubting Thomases in the pundit class, and even some apprehension within the Trump administration, it appears that things are still coming along nicely with North Korea. After some fits and starts that seem to have more to do with North Korea’s lack of practice with real diplomacy than anything else, there is every reason to believe that we are still very much in a “post-Singapore” world. We could live to be a thousand and never hear the Beltway give Donald Trump the credit that he deserves, but there’s no way to look at the situation on the Korean Peninsula right now and come to any other conclusion that this: Make America Great Again has transformed into Make Earth Safe Again. And Trump is responsible for the shift.
This week, after meeting with Kim Jong Un, South Korea President Moon Jae-in said that the North Korean dictator had agreed to “permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures.”
“We have agreed,” Kim reportedly said, “to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat.”
Not only has Kim reportedly agreed to close the primary nuclear complex, he has also reportedly vowed to close the Dongchang-ri engine testing site and destroy the Yongbyon nuclear center. South Korea and North Korea are also apparently going to file a joint bid to host the Olympics in 2032! Tell us how any of this would have been possible under any previous president, much less Hillary Clinton.
“Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts,” President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing. Hero remains to continue being returned home to the United States. Also, North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!”
It would be foolish, of course, to pretend that everything is smooth sailing from here on out. North Korea has a history of deception and gamesmanship, and the media isn’t wrong when they point out that Kim Jong Un has yet to actually pledge complete and total denuclearization. Until they do – and until they show themselves to be taking permanent, significant steps towards that end – Trump should be careful about granting concessions.
But seeing as how masterfully President Trump (and Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley, to be fair) have handled this fraught situation thus far, we have every confidence that they will continue to do so. Having already accomplished the improbable, now it’s time to see if they can conquer the impossible.