Next stop, Nobel Peace Prize?

The big news of the day is Kim Jong Un’s invitation of President Trump to a meeting to discuss denuclearization. The meeting is to take place before May at a place to be determined. Little Rocket Man has agreed to stop missile and nuclear testing in the meantime.

South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong made this announcement on White House grounds to the assembled press gaggle yesterday evening:

Today, I had the privilege of briefing President Trump on my recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea. I’d like to thank President Trump, the Vice President, and his wonderful national security team, including my close friend, General McMaster.

I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture. I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s personal gratitude for President Trump’s leadership.

I told President Trump that, in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is committed to denuclearization. Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. He understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue. And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.

President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.

The Republic of Korea, along with the United States, Japan, and our many partners around the world remain fully and resolutely committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Along with President Trump, we are optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution.

The Republic of Korea, the United States, and our partners stand together in insisting that we not repeat the mistakes of the past, and that the pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.

Below is video of the announcement.

We know nothing more about the seriousness of Kim Jong Un’s apparent intentions than what is disclosed in this announcement. President Trump has done his best to ramp up the pressure on Kim Jong Un through tightened sanctions. He must be feeling some pressure. We also know that Little Rocket Man is a sneaky and evil bastard. He is a cold-blooded killer. Behind him stand his enablers in China.

Claudia Rosett makes the case for cynicism about the prospects. She calls out the scenario as “Little Rocket Man’s great big scam.” I trust that President Trump and his team will be able to determine if this is more of the same or not. On any reasonable scale, the grounds for cynicism outweigh the ground for hope.

Yet I should like to think that President Trump’s diplomacy will earn him a Nobel Peace Prize. The thought is almost funny. As a wise man once said, however, facts are better than dreams. We shall see.

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