After signing new controversial tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States, President Trump said there would be a “big announcement” later that day. No details about the announcement were given by the president, but government staffers hinted that the announcement was going to be related to North Korea. Later that day, members of the South Korean envoy spoke on the White House lawn about their recent meetings with North Korean officials. In addition, they announced that President Trump had accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This development shocked many, as a sitting president has never met with the leader of the North Korean regime.
The focus of the meeting will be the terms for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. To show the United States that their intentions to negotiate are serious, North Korea will suspend their nuclear testing until the meeting between the two leaders. However, Trump tweeted last night that “[North Korean] sanctions will remain until a deal is reached.” The date and location of the meeting are currently unknown, but diplomats around the world are slightly relieved that there appears to be progress with regards to finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Politically, the decision to meet with Kim Jong Un is risky for Donald Trump—as a meeting with Kim Jong Un would reverse decades of foreign policy—but many believe that the meeting between the two leaders could begin the long and difficult process of unification between North and South Korea.
Cover image courtesy of Getty Images.