Last night, news broke that President Donald Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a summit in May to discuss the nation’s nuclear program. Trump boldly proclaimed that denuclearization of the rogue nation was on the table.
Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018
The news reverberated around the web, with good reason. Not months ago, Trump was threatening to attack North Korea with “fire and fury” and publicly belittling Jong-un at the U.N. Many were concerned nuclear war might break out.
Now it’s possible a peace deal is in the offing. So, is this a masterstroke or a complete mistake? You’d think something like this might be easy to parse. After all, America has wanted a denuclearized North Korea for decades. It was a point the president himself made months ago.
Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
Getting Kim Jong-un to the table, thus, was a coup that only someone as aggressive and bold as Trump could have pulled off, according to his supporters.
A week that started with populist parties crushing the leftist establishment in Italy ends with Trump making huge strides in solving the North Korea crisis.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) March 9, 2018
Lots of lefty tears this weekend. 😄
God forbid, the world could be getting better, we can't have that can we?
But meeting with Kim Jong-un face-to-face was an idea that was almost instantly rebuked by liberals in the foreign policy establishment. Trump, they say, is doing exactly what Jong-un wants.
North Korea has been seeking a summit with an American president for more than twenty years. It has literally been a top foreign policy goal of Pyongyang since Kim Jong Il invited Bill Clinton. (1/3)— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) March 9, 2018
I wonder if Trump's "aides" have explained that to him. Or, if in their toddler-handling, they have led him to believe that this offer is something unusual. Or perhaps he imagines that only he can go Pyongyang. (2/3)— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) March 9, 2018
PS: To be clear — we need to talk to North Korea. But Kim is not inviting Trump so that he can surrender North Korea's weapons. Kim is inviting Trump to demonstrate that his investment in nuclear and missile capabilities has forced the United States to treat him as an equal.— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) March 9, 2018
By agreeing to meet with the dictator, Trump is conferring legitimacy on a rogue nation that is not worthy of it, especially given its human rights violations. Any previous president could have met with North Korean leaders if they wanted to, but they all refused.
So is this another bold, unconventional gambit by the president that will pay off tremendously or a huge mistake? We’ll find out in May.