Analysis: In the Wake of the North Korea Summit

President Trump has done what no other president has been able to do: secure a meeting with the leader of North Korea. President Trump has touted that denuclearization is the goal but that is a wish from an alternate universe. This meeting has come about with no real consequences for either side. From the outside, this looks like a great photo op for both President Trump and Kim Jong-Un. 

President Trump can battle back against those who shout from the rooftops that he has caused chaos around the world by meeting with the most atrocious leaders in modern times in hopes of denuclearizing his military. For Kim Jong-Un, a photo-op with the President of the United States is a great ignitor for a propaganda fueled machine that North Korea is running. Other than the great visual each leader will get, their respective goals will not be met. North Korea will not ship all of their scientists and nuclear weapons on a plane and say goodbye to the one asset that has made them a global worry. 

The first thing that should happen is a declaration that both nations recognize the Korean War is over. This is lurking tension that has plagued the Korean Peninsula and much of the region for decades now. The looming threat that North Korea will attack South Korea has previously been set aside as Kim Jong-Un finally met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, both crossing the border into each country in a strong message of unity. An agreement that would symbolically put to rest the unease would instantly make this meeting a success, even without nuclear disarmament. 

Second, an agreement to alleviate North Korea from the United States’ hostile policies in exchange for an honest commitment from North Korea to denuclearize.[1]Much of North Korea’s GDP is spent funding their military while the rest of their society suffers greatly. In fact, more than 40% of the population is believed to live below the poverty line. To put that in clear U.S Dollars, the estimated monthly income is $2 to $3. [2]

Unfortunately, what came from this was the public image benefit and a vague agreement for North Korea to commit to denuclearization in exchange for security provided by the United States. [3]Not surprisingly, many nations have expressed positive reactions. Most certainly, anytime a meeting such as this happens when, prior to, there were no channels of communication, positive reactions are warranted. To have five hours of talks with Kim Jong Un is an extraordinary feat in and of itself. [4]

It will be interesting to see how the two major political parties react. A large group of Republicans had previously chastised then President Obama for even mentioning that he would be open to discussions with North Korea, at a time where nuclear testing had caused scare around the world. Now, many of those same Republicans have hailed President Trump as the one who can unite the world and praising him for his actions that no other president could do. However, Trump said that the goal is opening up channels to discuss future possibilities and to believe that North Korea would give up what is ultimately its only bargaining chip is highly unlikely and will take time. [5]

Democrats will likely attack the hypocrisy of those now supporting President Trump but lashed out against President Obama. MSNBC believes that President Trump has now harmed relationships with allies and done so at the expense of the cruelest despot in decades. [6]It has also been said that President Trump came out a loser to this meeting and was essentially played by North Korea. [7]The belief was that this meeting didn’t even need to happen. [8]

How this affects the elections is unclear. As party politics blindly lead those who proudly flaunt their party affiliation, not much can be said. This meeting, one which should be celebrated for the mere fact of opening up communications with a despot in hopes of creating peace and ending a war that has lasted half a century, should be accepted with open arms. If any political repercussions, Democrats will likely look petty, complaining about something that no sitting president has ever accomplished. To state that Trump came out a loser is to look at the issue in a wholly wrong light and is a transparent example of party affiliation dictating the beliefs of individuals.

Since Trump stepped into office, Democrats have stated that the President of the United States is the leader of the free world and must act as such. President Trump has done that which no other so called leader of the free world has done and is acting on behalf of all nations. South Korea benefits by having the Korean War ended after over half a decade of war and threats of attack. The unrest in the entire area helps Japan, China, and other nations. The world benefits as a whole when a despotic ruler commits to disarming. North Korea citizens benefit as this opens up avenues for possible trade and an overall better quality of life by opening up to other nations. For an example, look no further than Japan in 1850 to the early 1900s, after Japan ended its isolationist policies. To suddenly limit the scope of this meeting and only evaluate the implications to one nation when the entire world is watching and will garner benefits is likely to reach some voters in a negative light. 


This article was written by Dallas Coleman, one of the attorneys on staff at Reid Law Firm.