President Donald Trump started Wednesday morning by touting his biggest accomplishment in diplomacy with North Korea: All but eliminating the threat of nuclear war.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!” Trump tweeted.
“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!” Trump continued.
Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un produced a wave of US concessions for vague and nonbinding promises from North Korea, but it did make nuclear war all but inconceivable at the present moment.
North Korea still has nuclear weapons. It has not given the US any information about them. It has resisted any practical efforts to get rid of the nuclear weapons.
North Korea could give up its weapons today if it wanted to, but instead has insisted on staging performances of denuclearization rather than inviting international inspectors.
Trump on Tuesday seemed fine with this, saying he personally thinks Kim is being sincere. Typically, arms control deals are verified by trained experts inspecting military and nuclear facilities.
But on Wednesday, the world awoke to an undeniably reduced spectre of nuclear war.
“Only five months ago, based on my conversations with this administration, I thought we were headed down an inexorable path toward a devastating war,” Victor Cha, who was considered for the role of US ambassador to South Korea for almost a year by the Trump administration wrote in the New York Times.
“Despite its many flaws, the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war,” wrote Cha.