(Image via iStock).
By Joshua Tartakovsky
By taking the bold move to engage directly with Kim Jong-un, US President Trump revealed once again that not only does he have the ability to think outside the box, confounding both critics and fans, but also that he is far more courageous than the bland Obama, who as the first black man in power was probably driven by deep inferiority complexes, and refused to take courageous actions in dialogue with North Korea or Cuba, preferring to maintain the futile status-quo instead.
As the Financial Times put it, Trump has “chutzpah.”
Since the demand of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) for many decades has been the denuclearization of the entire peninsula as a precondition for its own nuclear disarmament, since it has played its cards well and has managed to get the US to agree to negotiate with it therefore proving its supreme pragmatism, since President Trump has not been accused of colluding with the North Koreans but, in contrast, has spoken against their government very forcefully, since Trump respects tough opponents and since Trump likes to win, it’s fair to see that talks between the US and DPRK have a very high chance of success.
Such a grand compromise, as the Financial Times said too, would mean that Trump is “doing a Nixon on North Korea.”
Such a compromise would mean the denuclearization of both Koreas and the end of the sanctions.
But for such a compromise to succeed, the aims of negotiations must be modest: removing what the US perceives as the North Korean threat, bringing peace to the peninula. And of course, not seeking regime change in Pyogyang, or dictating North Korea’s internal and external economic policies.
President Trump may succeed where Democrats has failed precisely since his aim is stability, not what neoliberals like to call ‘democracy.’
Just as Senator Graham, displaying his lack of trust in President Trump and believing him to be incompetent on his own, warned North Korea not to ‘play’ with the president, so too the US will need to remove its missiles from South Korea, for a genuine agreement to be reached.
Will the US Congress will approve of a compromise with North Korea or whether it will consider such a move cowardly and smacking of treason? (as if the death of tens of thousands of US soldiers in the first few days of an invasion on North Korean land are a better solution (especially as their children are probably not serving in the US Armed Forces)? It seems that US Congress will approve of such a compromise, it if is presented in real politic rather than idealistic terms, and since it has hard to accuse Trump of being a pacifist when it comes to North Korea.
For now, the terms have been reasonable enough: North Korea will not engage in testing additional missiles, while the US agreed to negotiate. But Trump will blow it if he will seek to push his way on North Korea with everything, and surely he knows this. Since his colleague recently said that Trump loses sleep over North Korea, then Trump will probably chose a solution where he could claim credit for defusing the conflict, and will not seek to overthrow nearly 70 years of a given order. But for negotiations to work, both sides will have to do careful and discreet negotiations, leaving the formal meeting as merely symbolic.
Since they already showed that they do not fear war, the North Koreans would have probably not agreed to sit down with Trump unless they considered a resolution a realistic possibility.
As the first president who will meet the North Korean leader, and as a businessman who has realistic expectations on a win-win compromise, Trump is well suited to form an agreement that could defuse tensions, provide Americans with security, and end up marking his name in the pages of history as a change maker, unlike his predecessor who received an unmerited Noble Peace Prize.
Should Trump fail, which is not his favorite hobby, a war is not that likely, considering the fact that a war had not already taken place thanks to the immense destruction it will bring.