On June 30, US President Donald Trump held a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Prior to this, he became the first sitting US commander in chief to set foot in North Korea. Commentting on the meeting, Trump said that it was a “great” event and that he’s looking forward to seeking Kim again soon. The sides also agreed to establish teams to work out a possible agreement to settle the tensions.
….In the meantime, our teams will be meeting to work on some solutions to very long term and persistent problems. No rush, but I am sure we will ultimately get there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2019
Trump’s remarks and ‘soft approach’ towards North Korea found little support among mainstream media outlest and hawkish political commentators. The New Your Times (NYT) even claimed that Trump administration officials are split over the strategy towards North Korea.
“As President Trump reveled in his historic weekend stroll into North Korea, administration officials were sharply at odds on Monday over what demands to make of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, while preparing to restart negotiations on a nuclear deal.
Pushing an internal debate into the open, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser and the most prominent hawk in the administration, reacted angrily to a report in The New York Times about the possibility of a deal to effectively freeze North Korea’s nuclear activity in return for American concessions.
Some officials are considering a freeze as a first step toward a more comprehensive agreement for Mr. Kim to give up his entire nuclear program. Mr. Bolton has long insisted that the North Koreans dismantle their nuclear program and give up their entire arsenal of warheads before getting any rewards.
“This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the president,” Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter. “There should be consequences.”
The NYT report is especially critical towards Trum’s supposed “self-constructed image as a dealmaker”. Nonetheless, this report ignores an important fact: North Korea has significantly decreased the number of missile tests over the past year. In this very period, the Trump administration and the North Korean government were in a constant contact over the possible deal. So, the effect of the negotiations can be easily observed, even if some prefer to ingore it.
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