On Thursday evening, America and the rest of the world learned that President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong have plans to meet with one another. According to CNN, the world leaders will meet before the end of May 2018. The original announcement of the upcoming meeting came from Chung Eui-yong, the national security adviser of South Korea. The aforementioned meeting between the two leaders is a game changer, to say the least, and many people are intrigued.
Shortly after Chung Eui-yong’s announcement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the accuracy of the report:
“He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
The meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un is long overdue. For months, the two world leaders have hurled ad hominem attacks at one another. Both world leaders have threatened to destroy each other’s nations. Needless to say, neither of these tactics have engendered progress or peace. To say that tensions between the two leaders are great would be the understatement of the century.
Regardless of personal feelings and opinions regarding President Trump, this upcoming meeting is a positive step forward. Trump supporters and critics alike should champion it and hope for the best. The President’s critics should be most in favor of the meeting on several accounts.
For the longest time, critics have lauded the merits of diplomacy and furthermore slammed President Trump for strong remarks against North Korea. What could possibly be more diplomatic than sitting down and having a constructive conversation with another world leader? Trump critics’ reactions will be very telling as to whether or not they were serious when they preached about the importance of a diplomatic solution on the Korean peninsula.
Although many details, security and otherwise, regarding the meeting are still in the works, sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted until President Trump and Kim Jong Un reach a resolution. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also stressed the importance of being “clear-eyed and realistic.”
President Trump provided additional information via Twitter regarding the status of current sanctions against North Korea:
“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!”
News of the meeting has unsurprisingly spread like wildfire and public figures are weighing in with their opinions and feedback. Republican Lindsey Graham recently tweeted out a public statement warning Kim Jong Un of a particularly dire fate if he attempts to “play” President Trump. Notable excerpts read as follows:
“I do believe that North Korea now believes President Trump will use military force if he has to.”
“The worst possible thing you can do is meet with President Trump in person and try to play him. If you do that, it will be the end of you — and your regime.”
As well-intentioned as Graham might be, this might not be the time for threats and grand-standing. North Korea does have a considerably dicey track record, but surely this new opening for a diplomatic solution is by far preferable to the myriad military scenarios being discussed these past tense months.
Achieving a treaty with North Korea, a country that has harbored hostilities with the United States for decades, would be an amazing accomplishment for President Trump.
At the end of the day, and agreement with North Korea should be something that all Americans are supportive and in favor of. This should transcend partisanship and political beliefs. The United States thrives as a whole when our allies, not our enemies, are plentiful.
Many people have questioned the extent of needed security for the meeting in light of the habitual tension between America and North Korea. However, there is no doubt that leaders on both sides will ensure that all attendees have the utmost protection and security in place.
The upcoming meeting with North Korea is so unprecedented that networks like CNN, which has repeatedly feuded with President Trump, don’t seem to be outwardly critical of the move. The network cites the future meeting as a “gamble,” but they also stated that it aligns with the President’s “deal-making, history-making, unorthodox, freelancing, and reality TV star” tendencies.
Speculations regarding the meeting are unlikely to subside anytime soon. Additional intel is likely to follow as government officials work out details.