They said it couldn’t be done, that it was a long shot. However, President Trump proved skeptics wrong yet again this week when he took part in a historic first, an in-person meeting between a North Korean head of state and the President of the United States.
Since the start of his presidency, President Trump has commanded the attention of Kim Jong Un in various ways. The United States continued to apply political pressure on North Korea with sanctions put in place by the United Nations. Alongside our allies, South Korea and Japan, the Trump Administration pushed for peace in the region. The line of communication that was created in 1971 as a way for North and South Korea to communicate was reopened. Prior to that, North Korea had not answered one of South Korea’s calls since early 2016. All the while, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were persistent in their talks of peace with North Korea. As the Singapore Summit broke news, President Trump credited Otto Warmbier for the role he played in making this summit a reality, saying he “did not die in vain.”
The United States delegation in Singapore knew the stakes were high. Thankfully, the reward may be even higher. After their meeting, the president and Kim Jong Un signed an agreement that stated that the U.S. and North Korea will commit to bring peace and prosperity to both countries. The clear highlight was Kim Jong Un’s promise to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In a press conference following the summit, President Trump stated: “Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case.” I agree that we should trust but verify in our ongoing affairs with North Korea.
Peace is a global effort. The United States alone cannot demand it or will it. Peace must be negotiated. Just as he has done all along—in business deals, trade negotiations, and even among Members of Congress—President Trump has brought Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table. While only time will tell the final outcomes of the Singapore Summit, the historic significance of this meeting is a lasting one.