Friday, June 15, 2018

Ten Positives from the Trump-Kim Summit - James Arlandson

by James Arlandson

Millions of South Koreans have been praying for this time.

After the professionals have analyzed and criticized the results, let's look at some of the positives.
Here is a summary of the main portion of the four-part deal.
  1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
First, he shook hands with an evil dictator. "That's a positive?" Yes. What else was he supposed to do? He could not extend his hand at all, nor could he extend it and pull it back, as twelve-year-olds do. "Too slow!" He did the right thing to shake his hand.

Second, he met with Kim in a photo op under the balcony in the colonnade. He was right to do that, too. He had to treat the evil dictator with a minimum of respect. He could not very easily walk in through a side door. The goal is to get a good deal for America and the allies in the region. To do that, it would have been unwise to insult Mr. Kim.

Third, he helped a dazed and confused Mr. Kim walk through the right door after the video-photo op under the colonnade. Mr. Kim did not know where to go, and Mr. Trump held out his arm to indicate they should both turn right into the door. Clearly, Mr. Kim, living a sheltered life for twenty-six years, was out of his depth. Mr. Trump was savvy enough to see it and lent a guiding hand in such a small thing. This portended a victory for Trump in the larger deal and in future negotiations. Mr. Pompeo, take note.

Fourth, he praised the evil dictator for his willingness to sign the deal. Critics say he praised Kim too much – a very "talented" man, he said at the press conference. The context was that Mr. Trump was happy Mr. Kim was forward-thinking enough to sign the deal in the first place. Mr. Trump clarified at the press conference that he said Mr. Kim was not a "nice" guy, and that's a signal he acknowledged the abuses and devastation. Yes, he could have held back a little, but Mr. Trump does not do "holding back" very well. I used to dislike it, but now I'm used to it (up to a point). Instead, I focus on results and policies. I have stopped worrying about the president's gauche social skills and his inability to rise to Mr. Lincoln's restrained and wonderful rhetoric. In my assessment, even Mr. Trump has improved relative to the old Mr. Trump when he first declared to run back in June 2015. 

Fifth, we can work to bring our soldiers and Marines and others back home. That is important to the families of the "Forgotten War."

Sixth, the agreement goes on to say, "The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations." Thus, the negotiations are ongoing. We should not expect a final deal right now. Discussion for the moment is the best way toward substantial peace.

Seventh, the U.S. did not lose anything substantial in the deal. As Trump pointed out, the U.S. did not have to turn over $150 billion as it did with the Iran deal. So if the DPRK does not follow through with its commitment, then we can either drop the whole thing or keep going with negotiations.

Eighth, Mr. Trump showed a video on the beauty of capitalism and reinforced the notion in his press conference that North Korea has beautiful beaches. What's wrong with an extra-big carrot? China is discovering, albeit in a limited way, that free-market capitalism provides prosperity. Superb approach, without apologies.

Ninth, at the press conference, Mr. Trump did not absolutely guarantee that the U.S. will stop the "war games" or military exercises. "We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should" (emphasis added). We will still maintain sanctions and the "war games." Conditions apply.

Tenth, let's face it: America and the rest of the world are better off after the summit and the agreement than before those things.

Mr. Kim and the "Deep State" behind him may indeed back away from a verifiable and irreversible change and denuclearization. Even here, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he may have to admit later that he miscalculated. Difficult to do for such a prideful man. 

Millions and millions of South Korean Christians have been praying for this time in their shared history. Let's keep the positives going all the way to North Korea tearing "down this wall!," to echo president Reagan's words.

It would be nice if the left and the Trump-haters settled down, but that is too much to ask.

James M. Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted Do Christians Have to 'Keep' the Ten Commandments?, Glossary of Medieval Terms A to J and Glossary of Medieval Terms to Z.


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Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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