Late this past Monday, President Donald Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in a historic summit in Singapore. In this meeting, the North Korean dictator signed an agreement to begin working towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. While this is a good sign for the future, it’s not necessarily a guarantee.
Not to burst anyone’s bubble here, I am very happy with this summit, believe it to be a major achievement for Trump and the world – and I’ll explain why I think Trump did a lot of things right in his approach – and I am hopeful for the future for a number of reasons, but I simply must remain cautious regarding this deal.
Previous promises and deals have been made in the past (not quite like this one, however) in which the dictator of North Korea verbally promised to denuclearize. They have been promising that for ages but they never made good on that promise. Like with Republicans promising to end Obamacare, the North Korean dictators have promised to denuclearize in the past and failed to keep that promise.
However, part of the reason I can be hopeful about this being different is that Kim Jong-un might not be the same as his father and grandfather. Make no mistake, their whole family is horrible, but you occasionally have a generation of people who don’t want to follow the same guidelines set forth by their previous generation. I’ll still remain skeptical over this, since Kim Jong-un is still the leader of a nation that has enslaved its people and maintains an iron grip on their throats, but he could be different enough from his father and grandfather to actually seek peace and not start World War III.
Now, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote an article about the summit either being a masterstroke by Trump or a bad debacle that may lead us nowhere. In this article, he wrote three reasons why we shouldn’t celebrate this whole thing just yet. The first thing is in regards to not getting any serious concessions from Kim. Like I mentioned above, there’s the possibility for this being different due to Kim’s new generation. But that isn’t everything I’m banking on for the success of this summit for the benefit of the future of the world.
I’m also banking on the fact that Kim got first-hand experience in dealing with Donald Trump before this summit.
One of Shapiro’s concerns with Trump’s attitude towards Kim Jong-un is that the leader of the free world is legitimizing a dictator and equating him with other world leaders. I don’t see it that way.
When it comes to Donald Trump, I have learned that he always thinks a few steps ahead. During this summit, President Trump said that it was a “great honor” to meet Kim, adding that Kim is “very talented” and “very smart”, as well as a “very good negotiator.” He gave credit to the dictator in making the Olympics a “tremendous success by agreeing to participate.” He ended by saying that “his country does love him. His people, you see the fervor.”
The only thing I did not like about what Trump said is that Kim’s people love him. They love him in the same way that a captured person with Stockholm’s syndrome loves their captors. He’s a brutal dictator that forces fake love out of his people, else they go to the gulags. However, while Ben Shapiro sees this as a pathetic show of diplomacy, I see it as something entirely different. I see it as “this is who I can be to you if you play ball.”
What do I mean? After Kim Jong-un started making threats against the U.S. and its allies, Donald Trump pushed back with equal or greater force. He showed Kim that he is not someone he wants as an enemy. He showed Kim that he is not spineless like Obama. That the POTUS was done bending over backwards to appease allies and enemies alike.
In this summit, Trump acted as though he and Kim Jong-un were best friends. I don’t see that as a bad thing whatsoever. The message Trump is sending, in my opinion, is that he can be Kim’s worst enemy (as evidenced by his behavior in the past) or Kim’s best friend. Treat him and the U.S. right, with respect and honesty, and Trump can be your biggest friend and supporter. But treat him and the U.S. wrong, with disrespect and lying about these promises, and Trump can be your worst nightmare.
This is the way he treats everyone. Canada, Europe, Mexico, Russia, whatever. If you remember, Trump met Kim shortly after leaving the G7 summit. He showed more respect and friendliness to Kim than to America’s allies. Again, I don’t see this as a bad thing.
During the G7 summit, he showed that if our friends aren’t fair with us, we won’t be fair with them. During the NK summit, he showed that if our enemies are friendly with us, we will be friendly with them.
This is demonstrated by the tariffs Trump has imposed on Canada and other countries. This is the kind of diplomacy that we like seeing from Trump.
Now, returning to the North Korean dictator, like I said in the title, I shall remain hopeful but cautious.
Kim Jong-un hasn’t shown much in regards to his trustworthiness. He did promise to cease nuclear ballistic missile tests until the summit, and he stayed true to that promise. However, Reagan puts it best in these sort of situations: “Trust, but verify.”
In reality, we have little to no reason to trust Kim, but we should. However, we should also ensure that he does stay true to this new deal. And that is something that I can be certain Trump will employ as well.
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