Trump Administration May Be Willing To Accept North Korea As A Nuclear Power
Following President Donald Trump’s visit to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, the New York Times reported Monday that the Trump administration could accept North Korea as a nuclear power as part of a peace deal.
The NYT reports that the administration could be wiling to accept a ‘nuclear freeze’ by the autocratic state instead of more comprehensive changes that previous US presidents have sought. This would be a major change in the US approach to the Korean peninsula.
“But for weeks before the meeting, which started as a Twitter offer by the president for Mr. Kim to drop by at the Demilitarized Zone and say hello,’ a real idea has been taking shape inside the Trump administration that officials hope might create a foundation for a new round of negotiations,” the newspaper said.
“The concept would amount to a nuclear freeze, one that essentially enshrines the status quo, and tacitly accepts the North as a nuclear power, something administration officials have often said they would never stand for.”
President Trump has expressed fondness for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and spoken about how his country could become an economic powerhouse – and unlikely situation given its closed economy, high rates of poverty and brutal repression.
“While the approach could stop that arsenal from growing, it would not, at least in the near future, dismantle any existing weapons, variously estimated at 20 to 60,” the NYT reported.
“Nor would it limit the North’s missile capability.”
Republicans and Trump media surrogates have praised Trump as a peacemaker and even called for him to win the Nobel Peace Prize. A deal that allows North Korea to retain nuclear weapons capacity would likely anger some congressional Republicans and could be used by Democratic presidential candidates to attack Trump.