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Was Trump the Only President Capable of Finding Peace Through Strength in North Korea

March 10, 2018 378 41 No Comments

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Was Trump the Only President Capable of Finding Peace​​ 

Through Strength in North Korea


Jeff Edwards
2018​​ 
March​​ 9


 

  • The Korean War began in 1950 when hundreds of thousands of North Koreans poured across the 38th​​ parallel. The result of the initial invasion was a full retreat for American and South Korean forces as they were pushed back and cornered in the Pusan Perimeter.​​ After a Marine landing at Inchon, the Americans pushed the North Koreans back to the Chinese border. When hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops poured across the Yalu River the Americans were beaten back to the 38th​​ parallel. The result of the next few years was a back and forth stalemate that ended in a ceasefire in 1953.​​ 

  • Kim Ill-sung ruled North Korea from 1948 until he died in 1991. After that he passed on succession to his son Kim Jong-il who then ruled until he abruptly died in 2011. Kim Jong-un succeeded his father in North Korea at the age of 27.​​ 

  • In the 1990’s, North Korea began an aggressive push to expand its missile technology and nuclear capabilities. This was met by a series of negotiations and sanctions between the United States and North Korea.​​ Throughout Clinton and Bush’s presidencies, the North Koreans engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons program while going back and forth in negotiations. In 2003, North Korean announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

  • In 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test with a yield of what was estimated to be less than one kiloton. Additional nuclear and ballistic missile test continued over the next 10 years demonstrating expanding capabilities to produce longer range missiles and larger nuclear weapons.​​ 

  • In 2017 the North Koreans conducted their first test of an ICBM with the capability of reaching most cities throughout the continental United States. Intelligence reports indicated that the North Koreans would soon have the capability to mount a nuclear weapon on a fully functional ICBM.​​ 



2017​​ January​​ 01 –​​ Kim Jong Un announces that the nation is in the final stages of launching their first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).​​ 
2017​​ January​​ 01​​ ​​ President-elect Trump tweets, “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen.”
2017​​ July​​ 04​​ ​​ North Korea conducts its first test of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14 with Kim calling it a “package of gifts” for the US Holiday.
2017​​ July​​ 28​​ ​​ North Korea conducts a 2nd​​ test of the Hwasong-14 with an estimated range capable of reaching to the heartland of America.
2017​​ August​​ 09​​ ​​ Trump responds saying that North Korea shouldn’t make any more threats of “they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never scene.” North Korea responded the same day with threats against Guam.

2017 August 29​​ – North Korea test flies an intermediate range missile over Japan.

2017 September 3 –​​ North Korea carries out its most powerful nuclear test to date saying it was a hydrogen bomb capable for use on an ICBM.

2017​​ September 19 –​​ Trump tells the UN General Assembly that the US would “totally destroy North Korea” if needed. He then refers to Kim with the famed “little rocket man” nickname.​​ 

2017 September 22​​ ­–​​ Kim calls Trump mentally deranged and refers to him as a “dotard.”​​ 

2017 November 9​​ – North Korea conducts a third ICBM test proving it has the capability to reach Washington D.C.

2018 January 1​​ – Kim makes a public address saying he has a nuclear button on his desk while simultaneously offer to work together with the South during the winter Olympics. Trump responds by saying he has a bigger nuclear button on his desk “and my button works.”​​ 

2018 January 9​​ – North and South Korean officials meet and agree to sending mutual delegates to the winter Olympics.​​ 

2018 February 9​​ ­– Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, becomes the first member of the ruling family to visit the South since the end of the war.

2018 March 7​​ – After a South Korean delegation meets in Pyongyang, it was reported that Kim was ready to discuss the fate of his nuclear arsenal and suspend tests during such talks.​​ 

2018 March 8 –​​ It is announced that Kim Jong Un is ready to negotiate the end of their nuclear program and offers to meet with Donald Trump. The President responds that he will accept the invitation to meet at an unspecified location in May of 2018.​​ 

 

When the United States established direct diplomatic relations with China in 1972 the phrase “Only Nixon could go to China” entered the American lexicon. A man with an impeccable reputation as a staunch opponent to Communism, it was clear that his actions were not an act of appeasement or defeat. If that statement is indeed true then the phrase “Only Trump could go to North Korea” should have equal standing in the modern lexicon.​​ While it’s unlikely they will actually meet in North Korea, after 65​​ years of a frozen state of war​​ the President of the United States and the leader of North Korea will sit down face to face. It’s a coup that perhaps only a President like Donald Trump could have achieved.​​ 

 

Granted, that last statement is a bit of opinion but the facts​​ certainly point in that direction. Equally,​​ opponents who often like to deride the current President could make that same statement in​​ a​​ manner more to their liking. Perhaps saying it took a bigger madman to deal with the North Korean madman or we had to out crazy the other crazy person. Love the man or loathe the man, one still can’t come to any other discernable truth other than the fact that this man is responsible for the breakthrough.​​ From Eisenhower to Obama, 11 Presidents spanning 65 years have had their try but it took the one willing to bring us to the brink of war to cause the North Koreans to blink.​​ 

 

Certainly, other Presidents could have threatened it but war in Korea would be catastrophic on every level.​​ ​​ Who would really consider this as a viable path or perhaps the better question would be which President could genuinely make the North Koreans believe they were ready to pull the trigger. The tightening of sanctions on North Korea for nuclear tests was the policy of Donald Trump. Responding to Kim Jong Un’s threats to the US with greater threats was a conscious choice of this President. This are simply undeniable facts. Equally undeniable is that North Korea is ready to talk dismantling their Nuclear Program and is ready to sit down with the President of the United States. We have cause and now effect. The man sitting at the intersection of those two factors is undeniably Donald Trump.

 

Call it crazy or call it brilliant, but the discernable truth is that friends and foes alike are forced to call it what it is.​​ Denuclearizing Korea and reigniting diplomatic conversation between the North and South is a worthy prize. Not just for the United States, but for the starving and oppressed North Koreans whose only fault was to have grandparents living on the wrong side of the 38th​​ parallel when the Korean War came to a ceasefire. Their lives and those of the entire world will be better if the end game of this policy comes to fruition. ​​ 

 

Were it not such a remarkable moment in modern history one could almost laugh at the fact that the men calling each other “dotards” and “little​​ rocket​​ man” are about to make history. Fittingly, it’s hard not to believe that only Trump could pull this off. Love the man or hate the man, he is the man who will go down in the halls of history as having pulled off a modern diplomatic miracle. If only Nixon could go to China, then only Trump could go to Korea.​​ 

Helping educate our members understand the bigger picture.​​ 

Subtopic A ​​ The North Koreans have been pursuing ballistic missile technology and nuclear weapons since the early 1990’s. By the time Trump took on the Presidency North Korean technology had advanced to the point of testing ICMBs and hydrogen bombs.

  • Negotiations began in the 1990’s over North Korean attempts to develop ballistic missile technology and nuclear weapons.​​ 

  • The negotiations involved a back and forth of sanctions, inspections and 5 party talks with nations like China and Russia during the Clinton administration.

  • North Korea official withdrew from the NPT during the Bush administration and tested their first nuclear weapon in 2006.​​ 

  • During the Obama administration, North Korea continued to test and develop its nuclear arsenal to the point when Obama left office North Korea was just months away from their first ICBM.

Subtopic B​​ Donald Trump was derided by many in the media and diplomatic circles for his fiery rhetoric on North Korea. Through public statements and tweets, it became clear that Trump was considering military action against North Korea and the North Koreans were responding with additional tests.

  • Trump was often chastised for using tweets to express his positions on North Korea. Congressional leaders and diplomats around the world criticized the President for bringing the world to the brink of war over his fiery statements.​​ 

  • Kim Jong Un seemed to up the antics by responding directly to the comments of the President and increasing the frequency of missile and nuclear tests.​​ 

  • China indicated that it would not allow war on its borders, but also affirmed the right of the United States to defend itself.​​ 


Subtopic C In the game of brinksmanship, the North Koreans appeared to be the first to blink leading the world to the current agreement for Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet.​​ 

  • Kim Jong Un expressed the first desire for easing tensions by offering to work with the South during the Olympics.

  • While Trump continued to place pressure and speak of war, the North and South resumed negotiations long suspended.​​ 

  • In March, North Korea shocked the world by expressing a willingness to give up their nuclear weapons and meet directly with Donald Trump.​​ 

  • Fact four is a component of subtopic C.



1.​​ 
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/09/politics/trump-kim-jong-un-analysis/index.html

2.​​ https://www.axios.com/trump-meeting-with-north-korea-aff14fb0-a5cb-403d-8e2d-35ef8a5500fd.html

 

3.​​ https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/dprkchron

 

4.​​ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43345209

 

5.​​ https://www.ft.com/content/17f6d1c6-2347-11e8-ae48-60d3531b7d11

 

6.​​ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/21/trump-says-the-u-s-will-impose-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/?utm_term=.fec1d1760641

 

7.​​ https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/the-many-north-korea-policies-of-rex-w-tillerson/524736/

 

8.​​ https://www.washingtonpost.com/?utm_term=.435989072c57

 

9.​​ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-summit-trump-anal/long-sought-by-north-korea-summit-holds-risks-for-trump-administration-idUSKCN1GL0W1

 

10.http://thehill.com/homenews/media/377571-morning-joe-host-on-trump-north-korea-meeting-he-cant-even-make-a-deal-with-a

 

11. ​​ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-09/trump-s-historic-bet-on-kim-summit-shatters-decades-of-orthodoxy


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Story inspired by: ​​​​ ​​ Both left and right are crediting Donald Trump’s bellicosity with forcing North Korea to the table over their nuclear program.​​ 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-bellicosity-secures-a-diplomatic-coup--for-now/2018/03/08/7aaec368-2339-11e8-94da-ebf9d112159c_story.html?utm_term=.90d09ca711e6

Point: ​​​​ Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric and tit for tat insults of Kim Jong Un seems to have secured an unlikely breakthrough in diplomatic relations. It would appear that his game of brinksmanship has led the North Koreans to believing negotiations is their only way out.​​ ​​ 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/opinion/north-korea-trump.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=17D28988B444AA607F491AD07235CCD6&gwt=pay&assetType=opinion


CounterPoint: ​​​​ Donald Trump’s candor risks bringing the world in a global nuclear conflict. Even in a conventional war, the amount of artillery North Korea has within range of Seoul could result in hundreds​​ of thousands of deaths in the first hour.​​ ​​ 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-un-north-korean-leader-suicide-mission-n802596

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