By Asish Samson
On Thursday, the international community was given a big surprise. North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and U.S President Donald Trump were about to meet in the near future! This is a historic moment in both nation’s troubled history. Especially, in the present context, this development is rather shocking since it was preceded by many months of these leaders firing shots and verbal barbs at each other. Kim Jong Un upped the ante by conducting nuclear tests while Trump issued multiple sanctions on North Korea. Both nations seemed to be on the brink of war when, out of the blue this meeting was announced. While many sections of the media reacted differently to the announcement, there is no doubt that this is a clear victory for Trump. Let us look at the reasons why-
1.Kim Jong Un extended the invitation himself: This is one of the decisive factors. While both nations were in a rather ugly stalemate, Kim Jong Un backed down and offered the olive branch himself. He sent the proposal to meet Trump via a South Korean delegation and Trump accepted it. To get a very stubborn and arrogant dictator with a nuclear arsenal to extend the olive branch is no small feat. And Trump deserves most of the credit.
2. Kim Jong Un is scared: This is obvious for now. Kim Jong Un has been cowed down by a series of tweets. Trump first started targeting the dictator by calling him names like “Little rocket man” and then escalated the conflict with his already famous “fire and fury” and “much bigger button” tweets. While at the time, Kim Jung Un reacted aggressively by calling Trump a “dotard” and conducting unsanctioned nuclear tests, he slowly realised that this was war he could not win and Trump was someone he could not scare with his tactics. Coupled with South Korea and its other allies, the US imposed sanction after sanction on North Korea and drove Kim Jong Un to corner in which he was forced to mellow down. The Trump administration’s “Madman with a trigger” approach worked perfectly.
3. The Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula: This is a huge victory not just for Trump and the USA but for the entire international community. While it has not yet been denuclearized, the first step in the process has been lain. A week ago, even this seemed almost impossible. Kim Jong Un promised the end of nuclear testing, not just a temporary freeze according to Trump. Also the sanctions again North Korea remain for the present. For such a rogue administration to take such a backward step is almost unbelievable.
4. Trump Proved the Media and his critics wrong (again): Classic Trump. Since Trump first started targeting Kim Jong Un through twitter to his “fire and fury” tweets and other recent comments, the media and the Trump critics department were howling in derision. They called Trump’s approach “unpresidential”. They screamed that Trump was riling up Kim Jong Un and the USA would suffer the consequences. They called his method “dangerous” and “disastrous”. They claimed Trump was taking USA to the brink of war with North Korea. And then Surprise! Trump was proved right again. His approach worked. He proved the media and his critics wrong again like the countless times he has done since he started his campaign. Once again, the media and the critics were left with egg on their face and made feeble attempts to discredit the meeting and Trump.
The meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un is expected to happen sometime before the end of May. Sarah Sanders had announced that the time and place are yet to be determined.
All in all, there is still a long way to go for lasting peace and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But, a foundation has been laid on which to build it. This is something no previous administration has done before and Trump has done it just as he has done many things in his Presidency: Unconventionally, and through the sheer force of his personality.