OPINION | The Quest for Peace or Popularity?

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have now left the Singapore summit, and with their departure, a silence fills in the anticipation and the apprehension of the meeting. Both leaders were supposedly looking for something, but it is uncertain whether it was peace.

From a political point of view, the summit was a success for both leaders. Let’s be clear, Trump was not the first to propose a sit-down, but he was the most pugnacious, and the least criticized when the idea was proposed. Was he looking for an end to tensions between North Korea and the world at large or a photo opportunity to boost his poll numbers?

From North Korea’s point of view, Jong-un has now been legitimized as a world leader— a well-positioned coup on all levels. As he strolled along the boulevards of Singapore there was hardly a moment when he was not smiling. Good press. No, wait, excellent press.

The two leaders leave having bolstered their prospective careers. Trump’s visions of the Nobel Peace Prize are that much closer to fruition, while Jong-un has placed yet another foot on the world stage. The only issue that gives pause is the fact that Kim Jong-un essentially remains a dictator, the antithesis of Western values. He is also a master negotiator and manipulator. Trump, the flip-side of the same coin in regard to personalities, is a blunt instrument who exaggerates his accomplishments, and at other times downright lies. But Trump has managed to take the focus off of the Russia investigation, Stormy Daniels, and all his many political entanglements.

Perhaps the world is safer now that both leaders have in principle committed to North Korea’s denuclearization. It is only an extremely vague commitment on the part of North Korean, with equally vague commitments on the part of Donald Trump.  Remember, both leaders lie. For the time being everyone’s needs and desires may be satiated—for Trump and Jong-un there is increased political credibility and prestige, and for the world, perhaps we are one step closer to peace.

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k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction and poetry, and is an occasional freelance political writer. His latest book, Trump- the First 365 Days: America’s Fight for America was released on February 20, 2018.

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