Friday, March 9, 2018

Trump Is the Peacemaker Korea Has Always Needed

...While North Korea is not the Soviet Union, planning for a Trump-Kim summit is reminiscent of the tortuous road leading to the 1959 Camp David tete-a-tete, which marked the first bilateral meeting between U.S. and Soviet leaders after the onset of the cold war. The recent war of words between the American and North Korea leaders and governments is redolent of some of the bitter exchanges of the late 1950s. Back then, as now, many commentators warned against inviting an adversarial leader to a summit meeting, especially to a presidential compound. As a prominent journalist of the day put it, especially after the Soviet Union suppressed opposition to its occupation of Hungary in 1956, and then in 1958 executed Premier Imre Nagy and his advisers: “no man with such blood on his hands can hope to be received in such quarters.”

But the unthinkable happened. Khrushchev did visit America and the president’s retreat. While the East-West competition did not end, a certain positive spirit lingered and informed the arms control talks and détente that eventually produced the downfall of the USSR. Trump’s gambit does, then, have a basis in history and deserves cautious support....