Just months ago, North Korea was test-firing ICBMs and warning that Seoul and San Francisco could be mushroom clouds.
Part of their plan, it seems, was to force President Donald Trump to back down. He didn’t. On the contrary, he stepped up pressure on Pyongyang and took to calling Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man.”
According to the declaration released after Friday’s summit in Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in “solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.
“The two leaders, sharing the firm commitment to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner,” the declaration read.
According to The New York Times, the two sides pledged to start talks with the United States to end the Korean War before 2018 was out — something that’s bound to come up with the next historic meeting Kim Jong Un will undertake, this time with President Trump.
How CNN was reacting to all of this news probably wasn’t the first thing on your mind, nor was it ours. After all, a historic peace on the Korean Peninsula would arguably be the biggest news story since … well, the election of Donald Trump.
However, there was a slight bit of schadenfreude in wondering how a news organization that portrayed Trump as a wild-eyed cowboy who would bring the world to nuclear war would integrate this development with the fact that quite the opposite seemed to be happening.
As it turns out, rather respectably:
In an analysis piece by Stephen Collinson, the president’s bête noire gave Trump a surprising amount of credit for the sudden shift in inter-Korean relations.
“Any way you cut it, President Donald Trump is entitled to significant credit for Friday’s historic opening between the two Koreas,” Collinson wrote.
“Whether he deserves as much as he’s claiming or whether he’s wise to bullishly declare a new era of denuclearized peace on the peninsula seems much more doubtful,” he noted. “Still, the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in keeps alive the possibility of a legacy win for Trump that would rank as one of the top presidential achievements since World War II.
“If he were to preside over the verifiable destruction of the North’s nuclear and missile programs, formally end the 1950-53 Korean War and usher in the destruction of the world’s last Cold War-era frontier, Trump would claim a feat that has eluded all of his most recent predecessors,” he added. “The President and other key players in the initiative would also be shoo-ins for the Nobel Peace Prize — and how Trump would love to join his nemesis Barack Obama on the list of honorees.”
Break out the smelling salts — CNN is tipping Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize. Can you imagine how hard he would have had to work to get the Nobel Committee to even consider him for the award? Almost as hard as Barack Obama didn’t.
The piece then predictably goes on to criticize Trump’s self-congratulation on the matter; neither the reaction of Trump or CNN is a surprise to anyone familiar with either entity, although it is kind of humorous to hear CNN using boisterous Trump quotes like his claim that he helped save the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea because “(i)t’s a little hard to sell tickets when you think you’re going to be nuked” and then admitting that there kinda sorta maybe might be a glimmer of truth in there.
However, CNN also admitted in the piece that it wasn’t just Donald Trump giving plaudits to Donald Trump.
“Clearly, credit goes to President Trump,” South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said. “He’s been determined to come to grips with this from day one.”
And he has. There has been no quarter given to the antics of the Juche regime, no “strategic patience,” nothing of that sort. We were told by the media this would lead to the beginning of World War III. Instead — if a lot of things go right — it could be the end of the world’s longest ongoing declared war.
Of course, not every media outlet seemed so ready to dine on crow confit, no matter how thoroughly the dish had been served to them. In a piece that was ostensibly about the Iran deal, The New York Times‘ Max Fisher claimed that the “inter-Korean summit meeting also hints at declining American influence over negotiations.”
“The Trump administration has demanded that North Korea ‘denuclearize’ in the sense that the country would immediately and unilaterally surrender its nuclear program. But this week the two Koreas pledged eventual denuclearization of the entire peninsula. Both North and South Korea seem to have ignored Mr. Trump’s demands.”
Ignoring the fact that the South Koreans themselves were giving Trump credit and that Fisher’s own paper reported that the United States would be part of any talks regarding denuclearization and ending the Korean war, part of the piece’s argument dealt with how Trump’s stated negotiating policy of “ruthless, zero-sum transactionalism” to get things done didn’t quite work on the international stage.
The irony, one guesses, was lost on Fisher and his editor.
Well, whatever. We can still sit back and have fun watching CNN admit Trump did something right — before the inevitable four-part biography of Stormy Daniels, narrated by Don Lemon, starts airing next weekend.
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