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sábado, 10 de marzo de 2018

Donald Trump appears ready to finalize a deal with North Korea

President Trump’s foreign policy strategy may be beginning to bear fruit with an unlikely country, even though many remain cautious — even skeptical. In response to a request to meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump signaled his approval by tweeting on Friday that “The deal with North Korea is very much in the making.”

The time and place of the meeting have not been revealed. The meeting could mark a historic turning point in what has been a tense relationship between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Deal or No Deal?

The announcement that Kim Jong Un would be willing to meet with President Trump and discuss potentially halting his nuclear weapons program and de-escalating his acts of aggression was delivered on Thursday by South Korea’s National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong.

The statement was met with cautious optimism by Japan, South Korea, and China.

President Trump tweeted his view on the upcoming meeting.

However, as optimistic as the White House is with Kim’s desire to meet and potentially concede his nuclear program, the Trump administration has stated that it will keep “maximum pressure” on North Korea until a deal with concessions has been made.

PR Stunt or Desperation?

The challenge, of course, is determining whether North Korea is truly willing to meet for a potential deal or whether this is a public relations stunt to enhance Kim Jong Un’s legitimacy on the world stage. Many top officials and experts have welcomed the historic meeting but are also urging caution.

When asked about President Trump being willing to meet with Kim without any concessions, Vice-President Pence stated that “zero concessions” were adequate due to the increased pressure by the United States. Pence elaborated:

Our resolve is undeterred and our policy remains the same: all sanctions remain in place and the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear programme.

Chung praised President Trump for taking the actions he believes brought North Korea to the table. Chung stated, “I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture.”

However, some have retained a more cautious tone and believe that Kim’s willingness to meet is more sinister than encouraging. Some experts believe that by obtaining a personal meeting with President Trump, Kim will be granted legitimacy on the world stage.

Van Jackson, a former Pentagon official, opined:

This is what his father and his grandfather wanted: to be on the same footing as the world’s greatest power. A meeting with the American president has for decades been considered the prize at the end of a successful denuclearization process, not an incentive to get the process started, and neither Kim’s father nor grandfather made it to that finish line. So I have to grudgingly take my hat off to him because he’s played a very poor hand brilliantly to get there.

Trump would be the second president since Jimmy Carter to meet directly with a North Korean leader.

Whatever the motivations behind Kim’s request to meet the president, extreme caution is warranted. The Trump administration must have all of its research and facts at hand and ready to do whatever is necessary for the denuclearization of North Korea.

If this is a PR stunt, then President Trump must humiliate Kim on the world stage. If it is not, then the Trump administration must continue to apply pressure until verifiable concessions have materialized.

No more empty promises and no more money for nothing in return.

Despite the risks, we are optimistic that President Trump may be able to succeed where so many others have failed.