It was announced on Thursday that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, has extended an invitation to President Trump for a face-to-face meeting. As far as foreign policy developments go, this could be a major sea change in the conflict over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Then again, we have seen this sort of thing in the past, so there are no guarantees that the NorKs have any intention of changing their ways, rather they may be simply buying time.

CNN reports on the background behind this “bombshell” announcement:

The meeting, announced by a South Korean delegation at the White House on Thursday night, would, if it goes ahead, mark an unmatched moment of history in the 70-year standoff between the US and the isolated state.

In the short term, a meeting could defuse the spiraling tensions between the US and North Korea that have raised fears the two nations are on an accelerating slide to a clash that could kill millions on the Korean peninsula.

“I think this is a positive step. I think the world is breathing a sigh of relief,” former CIA chief and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CNN, warning intricate diplomatic planning and attention to detail would be required.

Talks would represent a huge risk for Trump, who would be putting the prestige of the United States and his own credibility on the line. So far, there are few signs that he has secured significant returns to justify such a step. [Emphasis added]

The news stories are already falling over themselves questioning the move, such as the sentence I highlighted above. However, the point is that we don’t know what is happening behind the scenes, and we won’t know until we get closer to the meeting date in May. The President claims the meeting only became possible once North Korea agreed to suspend their nuclear testing:

According to Fox News, Russia and South Korea are greeting the move with optimism:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russian state news agency Tass on Friday saying — during a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa — that Russia considers the move by Trump and Kim to be “a step in the right direction.”

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said, during a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, that her government was consulting with the U.S. on the planned summit — and hopes that if it does take place, “it’s a meaningful meeting with good outcome.”

Yes, President Trump and “Rocket Man” will have much to talk about. The current sanctions will remain in place and nothing has changed in terms of US policy toward the rogue state at this time. It’s possible that the sanctions may be hurting the regime to the point where they needed a diversion tactic to reset the situation, it’s impossible to know what the motives are for their desire to meet with the President.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I think Kim is calling Trump’s bluff. Last year, Trump said he would be “honored” to meet with Kim. And in the first statement this week, it seemed like an open invitation and acceptance. But Trump is already walking it back, throwing up obstacles, making excuses.

    As with the Palestinians, the American administration wants both of these nations to give away all their bargaining chips before beginning to bargain. Both of these nations are simply asking their opponents to “recognize their right to exist.” (Where have we heard that before?)

    If Trump makes the meeting impossible by asking the impossible, Kim will look like the adult in the matter. Ironic, eh?

    • “If Trump makes the meeting impossible…

      Sorry but Trump is calling the shots. If Trump allowed NK to dictate what is going to happen then I guess you’d be happy, right?

      I guess you’re not tired of countries like NK committing human rights violations. After all it is their country, right?

  2. The ugly truth is that we, the United States or any other nation, has no legal right to gain master control over any other nation’s form of government unless invited to do so.

    North Korea saying it would temporarily suspend nuclear and missile tests says more for the success of the North’s nuclear weapons program than it does for the US’s tightening sanctions. Trump may even demand an end to North Korea’s nuclear program, which Kim will not surrender without many concessions of his own choosing. Reductions in sanctions and an increase in aid could be part of a plan to step down weapons production— this is the same framework used by Obama in his nuclear agreement with Iran. This is the agreement that Trump has lambasted so harshly for so long.

    Then we have the question of human rights and democracy for the North Korean people; never a priority for Trump, will they just be left by the wayside?

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