South Korea is crediting President Donald Trump for the remarkable change in North Korea’s behavior.
After a year of angry threats and weapons testing, North Korea is engaging its southern neighbors in dialogue. Even more incredible is that Kim Jong Un has offered to meet with Trump, discuss denuclearization, and even halt nuclear and missile testing while dialogue is underway.
Trump’s “leadership and his maximum pressure policy together with international solidarity brought us to this juncture,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong told reporters Tuesday evening in a brief address, during which he revealed Kim’s invitation and Trump’s acceptance.
“I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s personal gratitude for President Trump’s leadership,” he said of his earlier meeting with the White House.
South Korea also credited Trump for helping to restart talks between North and South Korea in January.
The Trump administration announced a strategy of “maximum pressure and engagement” in 2017, which involves economic sanctions, military deterrence, and diplomatic pressure in an effort to force Pyongyang to the negotiating table. While the North’s intentions are difficult to decipher, the strategy appears to be bearing fruit.
The U.S. has tried talking to North Korea before, but the upcoming meeting will be the first meeting between a sitting president and a North Korean leader, the man in charge.
“Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night, signaling that the maximum pressure strategy will continue until North Korea starts to get serious about denuclearization.
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