Nixon went to China. Reagan met with the Soviet Union. Trump now has met with North Korea.
Nixon was a strong anti-communist. So too was Reagan. Trump has been tough on North Korea.
Nixon came away, not with a major agreement, but with an opening. Initially, Reagan came away with minor agreements and then walked out of a second summit – before reaching a deal. Trump obtained a commitment which requires work.
Critics, many of whom supported Presidents who allowed the North Korea challenge to grow worse, now complain that Trump hasn’t come away with sufficient details. In plain terms, many of the critics supported prior failures. Anyone who says that should be ignored as not serious. Neither did Reagan or Nixon – yet they changed the World – in time.
Trump’s actions are worth the risk because his get-tough policies remain in place. Provided he maintains that stature, the step-by-step framework likely with result in successes – they already have, including the return of three American detainees, Kim Dong Chul, Tony Kim, and Kim Hak Sog, the destruction of its nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri as well as its meeting with South Korea.
Politics is often about momentum. Foreign policy can be as well.
Will there be hiccups along the way? Yes, just ask Reagan (if only we could). A denuclearized North Korea, however, is worth the risk.
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