Singapore summit

kim trump.jpg

The American people don’t mistake the absence of a final agreement for the absence of progress. We made progress; we must be patient. We made historic advances; we will not turn back.–Ronald Reagan

In the end, diplomacy can work – as a process, not an event. There is no Big Bang theory of nuclear diplomacy. If no further progress is made toward peace on the Korean peninsula, all this – the back-and-forth, the Moon-Kim meetings, the Singapore summit itself – is at worst another good start that faded. It is more likely, however, a turning point.–Peter van Buren, Reuters

Make no mistake: The world should welcome Donald Trump’s bold move to engage Kim Jong Un. A lasting peace for the Korean Peninsula, if it can be accomplished at all, will take years to accomplish. No one should ever have expected that Trump and Kim could solve a decades-old problem in a single afternoon.-Ian Bremmer, The Hill

Donald Trump deserves credit for doing what few thought possible–pulling off a summit meeting with Kim with aplomb, setting the stage for future progress, and dispelling threats of war.


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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12 Responses to Singapore summit

  1. Carol says:

    Congressman Tom Reed, on the other hand, apparently wants to remove North Korea and its leader from the face of the earth (or he has leaked the official backup plan). From his Facebook page:

    “President Trump offered Kim Jong-un a different path to the world stage. A path not even thought of by our former leaders – one of economic prosperity instead of failed nuclear destruction.
    While there is a long way to go to achieve verified denuclearization, I look forward to seeing North Korea become a free, prosperous and demilitarized state.

    However, if Kim Jong-un throws away this opportunity, it will mean the military destruction of his country and his death.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whungerford says:

    I think Tom may have feared criticism (soft on dictators, gave away the store), and so wanted to reassure supporters with a hard-line statement coupled with praise for President Trump. Then too, the GOP is conflicted, and there is no clear party line for Tom to follow.


  3. josephurban says:

    The idea that Trump pulled off some great achievement by meeting with Kim is simply wrong. Kim’s father and Kim have been trying for years to meet on equal footing with the US. No other POTUS would give them that PR coup. Trump simply gave Kim what Kim wanted.That was no summit. It was a photo op.
    Regarding Reed’s very NAIVE statement. To suggest that no other president has ever offered economic incentives to N Korea demonstrates an incredible ignorance of recent history. Is he so ignorant or a liar?

    Under Clinton:
    “Clinton’s administration successfully established a deal known as the Joint Framework Agreement which offered $4 billion worth of nuclear, energy, economic and diplomatic benefits in exchange for the halting of North Korea’s nuclear program in 1994….”

    Under Bush:
    “…But that plan didn’t really hold and North Korea said it had successfully completed a nuclear test in 2006. In 2007, an agreement was reached to send $400 million worth of fuel, food and other aid in exchange for North Korea shutting down its main nuclear reactor.
    Just before leaving office, Bush sent a personal letter to leader Kim Jong Il asking him to uphold his end of the bargain….”

    Under Obama:
    “…Obama sent an envoy to North Korea at the end of the year, asking leader Kim Jong Il to begin denuclearization talks, but his regime didn’t make any major moves toward pursuing them.
    Some more progress was made in 2012 when new leader Kim Jong Un agreed to halt nuclear tests in exchange for food aid….”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. whungerford says:

    The fact that the Kim family has long sought such a meeting is no good reason for not having one. Holding out recognition as a “carrot” hasn’t worked for decades. There is nothing wrong with a photo-op; maybe something good will come of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. josephurban says:

    Bill. I disagree. My opinion (based on just my opinion!) The photo op should come after an agreement has been finalized. The lower level diplomats should be establishing exactly what both sides agree to. Then they should have a formal written agreement. Then and only then should the US president lend his prestige to a photo op if the agreement is in our interests. I agree we should always talk with our enemies, but not at the highest levels. My fear is that all Kim ever wanted was this photo op placing him on equal footing with the US. What does he have to give up now? Nothing. He got what he wants.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. whungerford says:

    “The photo op should come after an agreement has been finalized.”–That’s the usual and preferred way. But such an agreement isn’t imminent, so what’s the harm in a photo-op? I don’t see how this meeting enhances Kim’s prestige anywhere, except perhaps at home where he appears to be firmly in control already.


  7. Anne says:

    I think the congratulations may be premature. Here’s a take on it that I agree with more:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. whungerford says:

    Anne, thanks for that article. It may be a momentary distraction, but suppose it isn’t. If Trump can declare victory, claim that the threat of war is a thing of the past, and move on, why not embrace that notion?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. josephurban says:

    Bill. In answer to your last post. Why not embrace the notion? The notion is fine, but we need to embrace reality. I give you Neville Chamberlain after his meeting with A. Hitler: “Peace in our time”.
    The devil is in the details. We have no details about any agreement. When I see the details I will try to judge the value of the agreement.


  10. whungerford says:

    Chamberlain was wrong about Hitler, but Trump isn’t necessarily wrong about Kim. Perhaps Britain and France should have moved against Hitler before it was too late (or even better, taken a compassionate view toward Germany at Versailles). The US did move against Kim Il Sung and devastated Korea in the process, but ultimately, the cost of regime change proved too high. Would nuclear war against China for control of Korea favored by MacArthur and LeMay in the 1950s have been wise?

    There is a pattern in Trump’s thinking: if Putin is a good guy, there is no reason for conflict with Russia; if Assad is not so bad, we can stop fighting his regime in Syria; if Kim is ok, we can work with him. It may be a short-sighted concept, but compared with militarism, it looks good.

    GWB instigated war with Iraq; Obama continued with economic sanctions and military intervention toned down; Trump seems determined to avoid war by declaring victory without fighting. This may be progress.


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