Trump's Upcoming Meeting With Kim Jong-Un


President Trump and Kim Jong-Un

After decades of intense, adversarial tension with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, “supreme leader” Kim Jong-Un has surprisingly announced his desire to meet with President Trump in person to discuss matters of the DPRK’s military and nuclear program. Many are holding out hope that this will be an unprecedented opportunity to de-escalate current relations somewhat, while others are worried about whether or not Trump will be able to make any positive progress at all.

Over a week ago, the White House stated they had received an invitation from Kim, who was purported to be “eager” to enter a dialogue with the President. Trump has agreed to meet, with the explicit goal of the total denuclearization of North Korea, but claims his sanctions on the country will remain “until an agreement is reached.”

Since the DPRK was first established under Soviet guidance in 1948, no American president has ever met with one of their leaders. The reclusive country hit hard economically by the fall of the Soviet Union, has nevertheless been quick to signal with parades and propaganda its willingness to attack the United States and its allies since the Korean War armistice.

In recent years, their aggressive pursuit of both nuclear weapons and missiles capable of accurately hitting American cities has sparked panic among world leaders and civilians alike. Under previous administrations, little was done to curb their efforts, which has culminated in the current situation.

There is reason to believe that Trump will not be able to defuse the situation. North Korea has been adamant in their military developments for decades even as their own people starved, responding to a perceived threat by the West, and they have previously stated that so long as the US and its allies have nuclear weapons, they too will continue to develop them. Additionally, the rhetoric from both sides has been excessively jingoistic, with Trump’s famous “fire and fury” speech, but also Kim’s response to the new sanctions as an “act of war.”

But still, there is a good chance at least some meaningful progress will happen. Allowing both leaders to speak directly to each other about their demands is far better than issuing threats to each other from their respective countries, especially to rule out a war right away, as the US did with Russia during John Kerry’s meeting with Ambassador Lavrov about Crimea in 2014.

While the White House and Trump have been making promising statements about totally denuclearizing North Korea, Pyongyang has been noticeably quiet. While it’s partially good, since they aren’t making threats or testing weapons, it’s also uncertain if they’re even willing to give up their nuclear weapons or negotiate in good faith in the first place. As of now, only time will tell.

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