John Bolton

John Bolton


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Trump's Best Shot at REAL Peace with North Korea is to Follow Reagan's Example

"Peace through strength" and "trust but verify" work every time they are tried!

You can't go wrong when Ronnie leads the way!
In 1983 President Reagan countered the left's nuclear freeze proposals by calling out the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." He delivered that speech on March 8, 1983 at a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida [speech text]. Establishment appeasers and left wing useful idiots went bonkers insisting that such harsh language is not the road to peace but to war. A few weeks later on March 22 Reagan gave an Oval Office address to the nation [speech text] announcing his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) with the purpose of realigning our national defense strategy away from the policy of mutual assured destruction (MAD) to one where incoming missiles could be shot down. Again, the Reagan haters went wild denouncing this as "Star Wars" starting an arms race in space that could only lead to war.

Three years later in 1986 President Reagan met the USSR's General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev for a summit in Reykjavík, Iceland but walked away from a stunning deal to rid the world of nuclear weapons if only the U.S. would give up it's SDI program. Reagan refused. Again, establishment appeasers and the left went bonkers. However, a year later Gorbachev removed his objections to SDI and signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty which relieved tensions in Europe and led to broader agreements on strategic nuclear weapons.

With the hindsight of 35 years of history we can see that Reagan had a vision of a better world. He stuck to that vision and wasn't afraid what the naysayers and appears had to say. He understood that effective arms control required first that the U.S. negotiate from a position of strength. "Peace through strength" was the phrase Reagan, and earlier Winston Churchill and others had used. Another key element to Reagan's negotiating strategy was the Russian phrase "dovorey no provorey," trust but verify. At the INF Treaty singing in 1987 Gorbachev joked "you repeat that at every meeting." Reagan responded "I like it" as he went on to describe how important verification and inspection provisions were to actually achieving real arms control success.

North Korea Peace Trump's Reagan Moment?

There's been a lot of positive noise about the situation with North Korea in the past few weeks. If we apply Reagan's lessons it may provide the best opportunity to actually move the dial closer to peace between North and South Korea and the United States and our allies.

The flurry of news in the past week alone has been stunning. Reports coming mainly from South Korea that the North is ready to engage in talks to actually end the war that was suspended but not ended by the armistice:
(NEWSER) – North Korea wants "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula and is willing to drop its key demand that American troops fully withdraw from South Korea, according to Seoul. South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who is scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 27, said Thursday that Pyongyang had expressed a will for denuclearization and had not attached any conditions that the US would consider unacceptable, including a troop pullout, the Guardian reports. "All they are expressing is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security," he said. North Korea has not confirmed that it has dropped the demand for the withdrawal of US troops.

Moon said his summit with Kim could be a step toward a formal end to the Korean War and aid for the North's economy if it gets rid of its nuclear weapons program, though he cautioned that no progress would be made separate from the upcoming US-North Korea summit. "First, the South-North Korean summit must make a good beginning, and the dialogue between the two Koreas likely must continue after we see the results of the North Korea-United States summit," he said, per Reuters. The April 27 meeting will be only the third meeting of Korean leaders since 1953. On Friday, the first-ever telephone hotline between the leaders was installed and tested in preparation for the summit, the AP reports.
As with any proposal from North Korea it has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Both President's Clinton and Obama have been snookered by North Korean promises in which the U.S. gave aide and the North Koreans continued with their nuclear and missile development after a short break. Will things be any different this time? President Trump realizes the dilemma. The following statement is from April 18, after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort:
TRUMP: We will not repeat the mistakes of previous administrations. Our campaign of maximum pressure will continue until North Korea denuclearizes. We have great respect for many aspects of what they’re doing, but we have to get it together. We have to end nuclear weapons, ideally in all parts of the world. That would be a goal for all of us, to hope for and to cherish.

As I’ve said before, there is a bright path available to North Korea when it achieves denuclearization in a complete and verifiable, and irreversible way. It will be a great day for them. It will be great day for the world.
The Trump haters, some of whom insisted he was unfit for office when he previously talked tough on North Korea still aren't happy. Insisting Trump will be conned into an agreement and nothing will change. Of course some who now criticize Trump's peace prospects for North Korea were cheerleaders for Obama's deeply flawed deal with Iran that gave the mad mullahs $150 billion to fund new terrorism up front with no leverage later.

Channeling his inner Reagan Trump has said that he is prepared to walk away from the upcoming summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump told Japan's Abe: "If the meeting, when I'm there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting and continue what we're doing." Continuing pressure on North Korea with our allies united in the effort is the best path to peace. Trump knows it. The question is, do the North Koreans? We may have some insight on that after the North-South summit at the Peace House on Friday, April 27. Stay tuned!

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