Has Trump stopped a war?
History was made in this past week as Kim Jong-Un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the unofficial end to The Korean War in 1953.
In highly symbolic scenes, news coverage across the globe carried images of the North Korean leader stepping over the border held in the demilitarised zone to warmly shake hands with his counterpart Moon Jae-in of South Korea.
The two had agreed to hold a summit to discuss closer cooperation, the eradication of nuclear weapons on the peninsular and reunification of families torn apart by the Korean war. It appears, at least for now, as though the two nations have come to an agreement to disarm as soon as possible.
Many have questioned Kim’s intentions with the leader saying as recently as two months ago that the nation would never relinquish its nuclear arsenal in order to defend itself from US aggression.
This, however, comes off the back of US President Donald Trump announcing that his new National Security Advisor Mike Pompeo had been to North Korea to speak directly to Kim Jong-Un and has even released pictures of the two men shaking hands warmly.
The news has shocked many across the world as the meeting marks the most remarkable progress in over 50 years for two nations which, at one point, seemed intent on destroying each other. North Korea in recent months also drew global condemnation for test firing missiles over Japan.
Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump were also recently trading insults from their respective offices with Trump, now famously, dubbing the North Korean leader “little rocket man”.
It’s difficult to really say what has changed for the hermit nation, which now seems to want to come back into the world and make international friends, but it would be genuinely hard to not give Trump at least a little credit.
It’s likely that the new sanctions announced by the UN and China, North Korea’s closest ally, have been crippling the nation financially and that the leadership understood that couldn’t continue in the long term. There is the potential that Trump’s war-like rhetoric jolted the leadership into the reality of a war with the world’s leading military nation.
By agreeing to talks and sending Pompeo to negotiate with the North Koreans, Trump deserves the credit for at least taking a diplomatic approach that even Obama failed to take.
Who knows, this may even lead to us writing an article titled “Trump brings world peace”, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.