According to reports from South Korean officials, Kim Jong Un has predicated his denuclearization promise on the signature of a peace treaty by the United States, along with a resolution to demilitarize the peninsula. The American position has been the opposite thus far, denuclearization as a prelude to talks, but the technical aspects of a plan that moved both in parallel could easily be worked out, a tentative and stepwise peace treaty, implemented and binding in tandem with tangible and confirmable steps to denuclearize. This, on the surface, again proves promising, but the rest of the world, and America, should view this meeting with deep suspicion.
Trump has staked a lot on this decision, and many media pundits have made a lot of fuss, as has he, over the “boldness” of this move, but in reality, the president has pitifully little to lose. The Republican party is cruising quickly towards what most polls and American national sentiment indicate will be another once in a decade humiliation. The president’s own poll numbers are tragically low, and have little more room to budge, with his core supporters likely to be behind him regardless of policy. Lastly, and most importantly, he has already failed and spectacularly humiliated himself and his word. Under this president’s watch, Kim Jong Un was allowed to prove that he had nuclear weapons capable of striking the United States, after the American people heard Trump specifically saying “it will never happen!”
North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2017
Not only has this occured, but Kim Jong Un has acted with utter impunity, other than being insulted in twitter tirades. Trump, after so much bluster, has hardly pushed for Chinese compliance, instead initiating a trade war against China. Kim Jong Un and North Korea are stronger, more internationally visible, and less likely to be toppled, than they have been at any point in recent memory. America can in part, thank Donald Trump’s weakness for that, for drawing red lines that even Trump himself never believed, and not standing up for American democratic and humanistic values in the world.
The North Korean perspective is even more bewildering. If, for some reason, after more than two decades and two leader-generations of nuclear development, the younger Kim wants to completely abandon his feat, just to sign a pact with the self-proclaimed state enemy of North Korea for the past 70 years, it utterly defies reason. Donald Trump is very likely senile, and by most measures a very dim-witted man. He should not be trusted to handle any international negotiations under these circumstances. While the avenue of negotiations should be broached, it should occur to those advising him that this turn of events utterly defies logic. North Korea is not desperate, and not looking for an end. They have reached the point they have been striving for for nearly eighty years: military parity with the West. Any strike against them would be suicide, and therefore, if their own people don’t revolt, the regime will have eternal defense from the threat of outside attack. Why, for any sized pile of cash in the world, peace treaty, or ego raising spectacle, would they ever give this up? They wouldn’t.
The Trump administration is filled with fools, political neophytes, and savagely self-interested Washington scum, seeking headlines and glory, with little care for consequences or results. At this point, the talks should take place, but they should with the recognition that the regime has made promises before, they have lied, and they have in the past abrogated treaties. They stand to lose sufferably little, as does Trump. Both men are widely internationally ridiculed and hated, care little for morality, and a clock seems to be ticking on how long they can maintain their own tenious grasps on power. The world should watch these talks carefully, for the aims of neither of these men run parallel to the benefit humanity, much less their own people. These men only seek to empower themselves, and for that, we should tremble in fear.
Staff writer: Ari B