New President. Same Story. New Year. No progress.
While Michael Cohen was in front of the House committee testifying against Trump, the president found himself going to the usual anticlimactic North Korean summit meeting. President Trump’s conversation with Kim Jong Un looked to finally put an end to the Korean War. Ending the war would boost the Trump 2020 campaign and seemed like a road to Trump becoming a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize. An end to the war would mean a lot to the region and would relieve much of the pressure among neighboring countries. Ending tensions would create a stronger relationship with all the countries in that region and possibly put an end to temperamental trade relations.
The summit, however, saw none of this come to fruition.
After a disagreement between Kim Jong Un and President Trump over sanctions and nuclear disarming, the two leaders left the summit with no progress made. With the North Korean economy still held down by sanctions and the country’s nuclear weapons still functional, Kim Jong Un offered to shut down some of the nuclear facilities in exchange for a heavy lift on sanctions. However, after weighing the sanctions and the presence of nuclear weapons, the Trump administration found that it could not sign on to such an agreement. After long negotiations both leaders decided an agreement could not be made at that time and went back to their respective countries.
The outcome of this summit has had little difference from the Obama-era summits and it seems we will see little change in the foreseeable future. A common idea is that North Korea utilizes these summits to calm relations with other countries while buying time to expand its arsenal. Tensions continue to grow between America and North Korea as American citizens asked Trump to condemn Kim Jong Un for the fate of an American citizen, Otto F. Warmbier, who the North Koreans imprisoned for stealing a poster, died shortly after his return to the United States. Trump responded by announcing that he believes the North Korean leader’s claims that he did not know what was being done to Warmbier. With little to no progress between the two leaders, it is hard to see any end to the nuclear situation in the region.
John Walker is a freshman government major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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