Foreign Policy

Freed Prisoners Set Stage for Trump-Kim Summit

There are high hopes for the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12.

Political Editors · May 11, 2018

In the wee hours of the morning Thursday, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence welcomed home three U.S. citizens — Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul and Kim Sang-duk — who had just been freed from prison in North Korea. And Trump didn’t make a $1.7 billion ransom payment or trade five enemy fighters to secure this release either. No, the Barack Obama style of diplomacy is in the past, even if he did win the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing nothing.

Naturally, the scene was marked by Leftmedia efforts to cast this diplomatic victory in the most negative light possible. The Associated Press actually complained that Trump violated “a practice of trying to protect potentially traumatized victims from being thrust into the spotlight so soon after an ordeal.”

In any case, the release set the stage for the upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean dictator (and Chinese puppet) Kim Jong-un. “The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th,” Trump announced after welcoming the prisoners home. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” He added, “I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful. My proudest achievement will be … when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.”

Much of the world is expressing hope and wonder that Trump may be on the threshold of not only ending North Korea’s nuclear threat peacefully but also finally brokering an official end to the Korean War. But not everyone is pleased. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would only offer a pessimistic disclaimer, grousing on the Senate floor, “I worry that this president, in his eagerness to strike a deal and get the acclaim and a photo op, will strike a quick one and a bad one, not a strong one, not a lasting one.” In other words, he doesn’t want his political opponent to get a win even if it means ending a significant threat to world peace. Talk about partisanship.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed a much more optimistic tone, stating, “We welcome the North Korea-U.S. summit. … We hope the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as permanent peace on the peninsula will successfully come about through this summit.” There are high hopes indeed. We’ll soon see if Trump the dealmaker is truly as up to the task as it seems.

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