As an American, Trump's plan to visit Kim Jong-un makes me feel nervous

Usually, I believe that all problems can be solved with ole’ fashion face-to-face conversation, but we all know this won’t be a calm chit-chat

Hope Howard
Saturday 10 March 2018 12:12
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President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un this May
President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un this May

There are a lot of things about Trump that scare Americans – from his tendency to tweet whatever is on his mind, to his hairstyle – but the worst is his erratic behaviour, specifically when it comes to North Korea.

After all, in a speech Trump gave in April 2016, he highlighted his approach to foreign policy, saying: “We have to be unpredictable.” This, of course, is the one vow Trump has followed through with. After implementing harsh travel bans and tariffs, he has practically given foreign nations whiplash.

The most recent surprise was announced on Thursday by US and South Korean officials: President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this May.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: Trump's tweet to Kim Jong Un about having a larger nuclear button is 'not a taunt; I think its just a fact'

After successful talks took place between the North and the South, in which Kim Jong-un allegedly discussed denuclearisation and a pause on missile testing, Trump declared that a “Meeting [is] being planned!”. This came as a shock to Americans and the world alike – no serving US President has ever met with a North Korean leader – we don’t even have diplomatic relations.

Of course, after seven years of hostility between North Korea and the US, the time to resolve our differences happens to fall under the reign of the Trump administration. Given that no other leader has met Kim Jong-un, Trump would be the man to step up to the plate.

Usually, I believe that all problems can be solved with ole’ fashion face-to-face conversation, but we all know this won’t be a calm chit chat. The emphasis of this conversation will be on national security, more specifically Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme – not your typical small talk.

So what will happen when two of the world’s most hyperbolic leaders are put in a room together? Well, it doesn’t look good, considering their past verbal encounters. They’ve both resorted to childlike behaviour in previous disputes: Trump calling Kim Jong-un a “madman”, and Kim Jong-un calling the American president a “dotard”. They’ve even debated whose “nuclear button” is bigger, which was a particularly frightening point in the war of words.

However, if it goes well, this conversation could be the turning point the Trump administration needs. If Trump can actually compromise with Kim Jong-un on the use of nuclear weapons, our country’s people could be put at ease – at least for a moment.

The big question to consider for the American people is: why would Kim Jong-un choose to reach out to the US now, to a president he seems to have an incomparable amount of disdain for? It almost seems as if North Korea is searching for an excuse to engage in conflict with the US. Hopefully, Trump won’t take the bait.

The best case scenario is that Trump and Kim Jong-un will engage in an even-tempered and productive conversation because the stakes are high. I don’t foresee this happening, but then again, I didn’t see Trump being elected in the first place.

As usual, Trump will continue to surprise us.

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