The meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un this week was nothing short of historic. No matter what side of the political spectrum you may fall on, the fact that the two leaders walked across a stage and shook hands is remarkable.
As recently as only a few months ago, they were launching salty insults across the Pacific Ocean at each other. It was, shall we say, and odd diplomatic strategy.
But then this happened. With as much hype as a world heavyweight boxing match, the two leaders came face-to-face on a heavily flag-decorated stage in Singapore.
The president earns his lumps — many self-inflicted, but after nearly 65 years of uneasy standoff along the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea, there might — and we say might — be something good afoot. For this, the president deserves a nod. It’s also worth recalling that both President Ronald Reagan and President Harry Truman shared a tendency for the unexpected, which yielded historic results.
North Korea is as broken as it gets. Millions of people starving while commerce steadily expands everywhere else around the region, and North Korea has been preoccupied with spending what little wealth it can muster creating a nuclear arsenal.
With all the glitz and glamour aside, what everyone wants is for North Korea to completely denuclearize itself before the world. In exchange, the world would slowly loosen the rope of economic sanctions methodically choking the life out of the North Korean economy.
And if history is any indicator, the nation under the thumb either negotiates a way out from under the sanctions or lashes out in an act of war as its final breaths approach. For the record, we’d prefer the former.
We temper our excitement because of the sheer volume of the unknown when dealing with Kim and Trump’s penchant for the unusual or unpredictable. But, then again, here we are with the president of the free world in direct talks with the world’s bad boy dictator.
We don’t know where this will go. We don’t know how long this may stay on the tracks. But what we do know is for the first time in nearly 65 years, something other than missiles and fingers are being pointed toward each other. And we’ll take that as a start.
• Leonard Woolsey