Trump Makes History as Kim Jong Un Agrees to “Complete Denuclearization”
Not in a thousand years could we have imagined the scene that unfolded this week in Singapore as President Donald Trump and North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un walked across a stage towards each other…and towards a new chapter in international relations and global peace.
The handshake between the two leaders (and the bizarre sight of the American and North Korean flags interwoven in the background) was nearly surreal, so at odds it was with the past six decades of relations between the two countries.
And the summit was proof that there is no personal transgression that our president cannot forgive if it is for the betterment of the United States; not long ago, these two men were throwing verbal shots that seemed to put us on the edge of nuclear war. Today, they signed a document that has the potential to make the world much, much safer.
That document proclaimed that Pyongyang would set as its goal the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a shocking concession that shows just how effectively Trump has played this situation from the beginning of his presidency. It is said that Barack Obama warned the incoming president that North Korea was the gravest threat facing the U.S. as the transfer of American power began in late 2016. Not even two years later, Trump has made strides that the Obama administration could not have dreamed of.
Asked at a press conference after the meeting if Kim had agreed to give up his nuclear weapons, Trump said, “We are starting that process very quickly.”
The president also said that the U.S. had agreed to end the annual “war games” conducted with South Korea – a series of military exercises that North Korea has characterized as rehearsal for invasion and a threat to his regime. Whether U.S. security guarantees to Kim will include pulling our troops off the Peninsula remains to be seen. Clearly, however, Trump is willing to go a far piece towards making this deal a reality; now the world will have to wait and see if the notoriously untrustworthy North Korean regime will live up to its end of the bargain.
Not unusually for any situation in which Trump is involved, there has been a metric ton of criticism aimed at this summit. While much of it can be attributed to the left’s typical yearning for the president to fail, some of it is legitimate. For instance, there is a reasonable fear that granting Kim this summit and a public meeting with the President of the United States gives his rogue nation a kind of global legitimacy that he has not earned. Of course, the flipside of that is that by building a nuclear weapons system capable of destroying half the Pacific Rim, Kim HAS earned it, whether we like to admit it or not.
Bottom line is: If Trump can convince North Korea to truly give up its weapons program, all of the smaller concerns will fade into insignificance. The coming months will show us whether that lofty goal is indeed on the horizon.