The Scene:

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Trump administration has been quick to declare diplomatic victory. Trump tweeted that Americans can “sleep well tonight” without immediate fears of nuclear escalation. In response to this historic summit, we look to see how students gauge America’s relationship with the D.P.R.K. and what collegiate writers think should be done to deescalate persistent tensions.

The Takes:

Fordham Observer: Patrick Rizzi believes that “we must work to limit trade with the rogue nation and its Kim regime” to apply economic pressure instead of threats of violence.

•    America should apply diplomatic pressure through “a striking combination of trade restrictions and economic sanctions.”

•     “We must call on China to do more in its power to stand up to Kim’s rule and the very real nuclear threat over which he presides as the leader of North Korea.”

•    “A bilateral and diplomatic effort between the United States and China that seeks to limit traded items exported to North Korea whenever possible and halt cartels operating between China and North Korea is, for now, the most effective solution to dealing with this international crisis.”

University of Florida Political Review: William Zelin argues that Trump’s shift “toward diplomacy should always be welcomed and embraced by anyone who seriously wishes to see peace arise out of [this] conflict.”

•    “So long as the US sets clear benchmarks regarding North Korean denuclearization, this time ensuring proper international oversight, an agreement could lead to resounding improvements in the humanitarian crisis of North Korea.”

•    “We have already tried sending in seasoned diplomats and other bureaucratic officials to negotiate with North Korean leadership only to experience the same failure that many are fearing will occur this time. Trump is definitely not the ideal candidate to test this new strategy, but perhaps a future president could follow in his footsteps and pursue similar diplomatic goals.”


The Bottom Line:

In a complete rhetorical about-face, President Trump seems to have abandoned his incendiary rhetoric toward the D.P.R.K. in favor of diplomacy. While Americans are far from a consensus on North Korea, all but the most hawkish policy wonks favor discourse to military action. In that regard, Tuesday’s meeting between Trump and Kim- signaling increased communication between longtime enemies- is highly preferable to a more violent alternative. 

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