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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2192

President Trump’s Conciliatory Tone towards North Korea: understanding the move is not rocket science!

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London...

What was unthinkable a few months ago, has finally happened: President Trump is going to meet Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader at a yet-to-be determined location, perhaps before May. People in the Korean Peninsula, who could be on the potential firing line in the event of hostilities breaking out, may have breathed a long sigh of relief at the news.

Gone are the days that the two leaders traded insults at fairly regular intervals, compared the respective sizes of each others’ rockets and of course, the modes of activation of their rockets.

Mr Kim, the young North Korean leader, may have finally realized the futility of threatening a Superpower, while there is still a whole life before him. President Trump, meanwhile, may have decided to grasp the opportunity, while knowing very well the consequences of a military strike either with conventional weapons or weapons of mass destruction.

The positive reaction from President Trump, after a meeting with South Korean delegation, shows he is a leader who is not prepared to stick to the well-hackneyed script, something most of his predecessors used to do, citing sticking to ‘principles’.

A mutual change of heart at personal level, as far as nuclear stand-off is concerned, is a step in the right direction and good for peace and stability in the region – and beyond. The ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as far as the US is concerned, however, remains to be seen.

The diplomatic breakthrough that coincided with the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang stems from one man’s life-long mission – Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President. Mr Moon, the son of a refugee from North Korea, has been consistent about his desire to healing the rift between two Koreas.

Just after the announcement was made, the sceptics – and cynics – argued against the move by saying it would fail. President Trump, who acts on his gut-feeling, may have decided to do a deal to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Up until the announcement from the White House was made in this regard, neither the critics nor advisors saw it coming. In this context, their prediction that the proposed meeting could go horribly wrong is not reliable prophesy either.

They are perplexed that President Trump uses Twitter to propagate a major diplomatic move like this. There are no signs that he would abandon his major social media platform on which he airs his frustration.

North Korea’s willingness to move away from nuclear testing in the hope of dismantling them, perhaps, may be genuine, especially in the face of unprecedented sanctions.

The speed at which President Trump accepted the invitation to meet Mr Kim and forgive him for the unflattering remarks that were made earlier, shows that the former is not harbouring ill thoughts against his opponents, despite public insults and unpleasant rhetoric.

Time and again, he has demonstrated this trait since his election victory: the amiable meeting between him and Mitt Romney is a case in point.

In this context, what Presidents Trump says on impulse, either on Twitter or in a major speech, should not be held against him for long; because, he is not like that and he expects the rest of the world to follow in his footsteps and not vice versa.

- Asian Tribune -

President Trump’s Conciliatory Tone towards North Korea:  understanding the move is not rocket science!
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