BY MOHAMMAD QAYUM
Not long ago, the world witnessed a monumental achievement. Rather, it is the Korean Summit, where Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) walked across the border in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), to meet with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). This was the first time a leader of the North Korean regime took the chance to cross over to the southern side. The meeting symbolized the end of the Korean war and the potential beginning of a new, more peaceful Korean Peninsula. Not long after, people at home began pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to President Donald Trump.
The movement gained traction, and the South Korean President even endorsed the American president for the prize. The question of whether or not President Trump deserves the honor is contentious. There are arguments on both sides: some say President Trump is responsible for this, while others claim that no official peace has been achieved yet. Regardless of the outcome, the meeting between the two leaders will impact President Trump, particularly domestically.
It is no doubt that President Trump has faced backlash during his tenure, and his poll numbers plummeted. Known for his feisty rhetoric, his potential – according to some – to cause World War III, and his unrelenting Twitter use, his “fire and fury” tweet threatened DPRK and heightened political tensions.
Yet, today, as the world experiences the rebirth of peace talks between two divided nations, the United States can shift from seeing World War III in the horizons, to seeing a new Korea. Of course, the idea of a reunified Korea is wildly optimistic, but it is important that the fear many Americans expressed for a long time under President Trump has been addressed in an unexpected way. As a result of the unforeseen outcomes, the president’s reputation is beginning to change.
Right off the bat, his approval ratings with regard to the DPRK have risen. In addition, more than two-thirds of Americans support his plan to meet with Kim Jong-un. Across his own nation, his people are beginning to view him in a more favorable manner. Knowing this, President Trump has an opportunity to shift his rhetoric and style, and as such, become a leader that unites. The question is whether or not he will do that.
In the last few months, President Trump has replaced respected and level-headed advisors and cabinet members with known neo-cons. While Mike Pompeo formerly served as director of the CIA, he now finds himself heading the chief diplomatic agency of the United States, increasing his role in foreign policy. Moreover, John R. Bolton, a man who pushed for the Iraq war and one of the world’s most well-known neo-conservative thinkers, replaced H. R McMaster as the National Security Advisor. This means that the head of the National Security Council, and arguably the president’s closest advisor on security issues, is a person who pushes for military use over most options, most of the time.
Regardless, the Korean summit is set, and President Trump is expected to meet with Kim Jong-un. Trump has the opportunity to calm the people once more and show them that – even though he hired John Bolton – he still works to make the best decisions for the benefit of his own nation.