On June 12, Trump and Kim met on the Singaporean island of Sentosa and signed a document showing their commitment to establish new bilateral relations and build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Trump also agreed to halt US-South Korea military exercises near the Korean peninsula, while Kim reiterated his country’s commitment to denuclearization.
US Media, Democrats Join Forces in Bid to Discredit Trump's Peace Moves
The Democratic Party in the United States and the media establishment that supported them were cooperating closely to try and discredit Trump’s peace initiative in Korea, University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said.
"As the ancient Chinese proverb says, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, a very positive and encouraging step," Boyle said. "Regretfully, it [the Singapore agreement] has pretty much been trashed by the Democrats and the mainstream US media who are in cahoots with them."
The Democrats’ hostility to the new dialogue with Pyongyang flowed directly from their strategy in trying to discredit Trump over the past two years, Boyle pointed out.
"The Democratic strategy has been to bash Trump from the right. That goes back two years now to the conventions that nominated Trump and Hillary Clinton as their parties’ candidates," he said.
The spectacle of the US media ganging up against the president when he was trying to resolve a potentially dangerous conflict was a depressing one, Boyle commented.
"All these newspapers condemning President Trump, it’s just unimaginably sad," he said.
The media and the Democrats were misrepresenting Trump’s talks with Kim by falsely alleging that the US president had caved in by agreeing to talk to him when in fact Trump was just fulfilling the obligations placed upon him by the United Nations Charter which the US has signed, Boyle explained.
"Trump did not give Kim Jong-un an unnecessary concession. All he did was fulfill the commitment required of him or any US leader to hold such negotiations that is in the United Nations Charter," he said.
Under Article 23 of the UN Charter there is a requirement for President Trump to have negotiations with North Korea which he did, Boyle recalled.
"Article 33 clearly requires ‘negotiations’ to maintain international peace and security," he added.
Far from failing to make any progress, Trump had succeeded in getting Kim’s assent to giving the new negotiating process a promising beginning, Boyle observed.
"Trump did get a commitment on complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula so that’s a good start. It incorporates the Panmunjom Declaration between Chairman Kim and President Moon. It’s a good start. I’m moderately encouraged," he said.
Trump Rejected Bolton's Parallel Between Libya, North Korea Talks
Boyle warned that the talks faced another major threat because National Security Adviser John Bolton was likely to try and undermine them.
"Bolton is a hard-line neoconservative (neocon) who publicly bragged about having sabotaged the process [of negotiations] with North Korea. He tried to sabotage these negotiations by going public and saying we are going to go the Libya route," he said.
Trump contradicted Bolton and said that model of negotiations with Libya would not apply to North Korea.
Boyle said Bolton was highly intelligent and knew what he was doing when he made such remarks or and when he had encouraged Vice President Mike Pence to make similar ones.
"Bolton is a smart guy. He is a very cunning operator in the bureaucracy. I’m afraid Bolton will try to sabotage the negotiations. He has brought his own hardline people on to the National Security Council. I’m afraid that he will do what he can behind the scenes to sabotage this thing," he said.
Boyle said he believed Trump needed to fire Bolton and select a new national security adviser who was committed to trying to make the negotiations with North Korea succeed.
"If Trump were smart I think he would fire Bolton and bring in a realpolitik-er," he said.
Even if the talks with North Korea went well, they would take many months and several years, Boyle cautioned.
"This is going to be a long process. The administration people have conceded to the New York Times that it will take at least two years… However, following the summit, there is momentum," Boyle concluded.
Military Establishment Tries to Hold on to US Bases in Asia-Pacific
Retired US Army Colonel and historian Doug Macgregor agreed that the Washington establishment opposed Trump’s efforts to achieve a lasting peace agreement with North Korea.
"The swamp [the establishment] will now fight the inevitable withdrawal of US ground troops from Korea because it will lead to the removal of the Marines from Okinawa as well," Macgregor said.
Trump had made the mistake of surrounding himself with super-hawk figures like Bolton when he needed other kinds of officials who would support his peace plans, Macgregor cautioned.
"President Trump's current defense [national security] team won't help him! To achieve his aims the President will need to make new appointments," he said.
However, the US public felt no commitment to running risks of full-scale war on the Korean peninsula and would support an agreement that could end the US military presence there, Macgregor advised.
"The mood and attitude of the political class in Washington is reminiscent of London's attitude toward leaving India after World War II," Macgregor said.
Like the British people then, the American people support the departure, Macgregor added.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.