It’s hard to imagine that a year ago President Trump and Kim Jong Un were at each others throats, comparing the sizes of their ‘nuclear buttons,’ and trading insults. Trump famously coined the term ‘Rocket Man’ in reference to Kim, a throwback to the Elton John song by the same name.
Now, after a simple tweet by the President while attending the G20 Summit in Japan, Trump became the first sitting US president to enter North Korea by crossing the DMZ line and shaking hands with the dictator. All recent presidents had made similar visits to the Korean Peninsula, but Trump was the only one to actually enter North Korea and have a face-to-face meeting with the Dictator of the hermit nation.
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea had a similar encounter with Kim last year where he too crossed the DMZ for the first time following the first Trump-Kim summit.
What was supposed to be a simple symbolic gesture of willingness to negotiate became an impromptu hour-long discussion between the two leaders in the Freedom House on the Southern side. As the meeting was thrown together last minute, many feared it would end with one party walking out, like Trump did when a middle ground couldn’t be reached at the February summit.
However, after the meeting Kim said the two have an “excellent” relationship. On the South Korean side, Kim added “I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.”
Trump shared the warmness saying their friendship was “perpetually great.”
According to the BBC, “both countries agreed to set up teams to resume stalled nuclear talks.” The countries will arrange to have their teams formed and meet in the coming weeks to build off the first summit’s agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Though no concrete plans have been set, nor any active steps to dismantle the Korean facilities, there have been no nuclear tests in North Korea since September 3rd, 2017.
Sanctions against the Kim regime will remain in full effect as of now.
Democratic Candidate Kamala Harris criticized President Trump’s “photo-op,” saying he should take the nuclear threat seriously. Senator Elizabeth Warren did not mince words either, calling for “principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights,” calling the meeting a “squandering [of] American influence” that should have never happened.
Categories: World News