AFTER months of kindergarten playground bickering and name-calling long distance between these two unpredictable and narcissistic leaders as to who has a bigger nuclear arsenal that works, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un have agreed to meet sometime in May in a location that has yet to be determined.
This is a welcome diplomatic development after threats of a possible nuclear showdown between the two countries loomed following their threats and counter-threats “the world has never seen before.” Trump himself had not been a big believer in diplomatic talks, even admonishing and undermining his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, arguing that the U.S. would just be wasting its time negotiating with Kim.
However, with the intervention of U.S. ally South Korea, the summit could happen, and world leaders and international relations expert express cautious optimism about this development.
World political experts say Trump would be handing a gift to Kim — that is, a recognition of this dictator’s regime, something that has been denied to the country by previous U.S. presidents. In return, Kim would be giving Trump the bragging right of scoring a diplomatic win, something the latter desperately needs during this time of his chaotic presidency.
However, there would still be a lot of challenges before this could even come to fruition, as Trump himself said he would only talk to Kim if he suspends nuclear testing and “de-nuke” North Korea. The Trump administration, then, would have to see concrete evidence of Kim actually doing this and some are skeptical the short time to May might not be enough.
Also, international relations experts warn about being too optimistic about this as North Korean leaders have cheated on their deals with other countries in the past, and worry that Trump may just be falling for a possible “trap” Kim is setting up against his American nemesis.
BUT if this summit indeed happens, Trump will sure learn that diplomacy works and that sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies against North Korea are working.
Perhaps, this will give Trump the impetus to finally impose the sanctions against Russia for its assault on American democratic institutions by meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and its continued interference in the future elections of the United States.
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos