The highly-anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un was indeed historic, the first time ever two leaders of both nations engaged unilaterally with one another. But will it result in anything substantial?
There are two big reasons to be skeptical of the so-called “progress” made between the two nations — and those two reasons are Trump and Kim themselves.
First, there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that Kim can be trusted to follow through on his promise to denuclearize North Korea, a pledge his country has made countless times in the past dating as far back as 1985. With so many examples of that promise being made and broken, there’s little to go on that suggests this time we can trust the recluse nation.
The term “denuclearize” itself isn’t clearly defined between the two leaders, and indeed could mean a slew of different things. The ambiguity of the term could end up being the biggest downfall of all for the deal.
Most people understand it to mean, at the very least, an end to building more intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on the part of Pyongyang, but does it mean all other nuclear programs, including aims to use nuclear energy to power the nation, are scrapped? Do existing nuclear bombs have to be decommissioned, and if so, who will ensure that happens correctly? These are questions that are ignored in the pact Kim and Trump signed Tuesday morning, and the ambiguous nature of the “deal” is likely to be taken advantage of on the part of North Korea.
Besides being unable to trust Kim on the matter, there’s the issue of our own president’s inconsistent record. Trump isn’t a president who can be trusted to follow through on important things. Take, for example, his response to the disastrous hurricane that hit Puerto Rico. Trump initially gave his administration’s response to that catastrophe a perfect 10-out-of-10 score, but the island continues to struggle to this day, dealing with territory-wide blackouts and enormous death counts that the president refuses to acknowledge.
This isn’t a misnomer: Trump also talks big about his own wealth, and as a candidate for president promised to show us his tax records — a promise he then went back on. He’s also made monetary pledges to a handful of charities over the years, only to fail to follow through on those promises after making them, a habit he’s accustomed to doing on a myriad of occasions.
Based on these observations, t’s not too much of a stretch to say that the two biggest obstacles to Trump’s and Kim’s agreement are Trump and Kim themselves. The two are unreliable world actors, and their words cannot be taken at face value.
Kim is a vicious dictator who frequently lies to his own people, and if we’re being totally honest, Trump isn’t that far off in terms of his penchant for lying.
To believe that somehow this time is different, without any actual evidence or plan in place to back up that idea, is foolish. For both Trump and Kim, we must remember that their actions speak louder than their words — and until actions are seen, their words cannot be taken seriously.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst