On North Korea, President Trump Is Making History

On North Korea, President Trump Is Making History
Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP
On North Korea, President Trump Is Making History
Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP
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President Trump’s first term in office continues to be marked by historic moments achieved through bold leadership and an effective brand of diplomacy. This administration has renewed American strength in the world and made unprecedented breakthroughs on one of the most important issues of today: denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 

Over the weekend, President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone. He stepped foot into North Korea, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so. It was a historic moment that followed years of frozen relations between America and the hermit kingdom – a moment of hope following years of the Obama administration’s failed policy of strategic patience, which allowed North Korea’s nuclear ambitions to threaten the international community. 

Years of failed negotiations between our two countries yielded no results; under the Obama administration, North Korea continued to conduct over 70 missile tests and four underground nuclear tests. Today, thanks to President Trump’s fresh approach, this is no longer the case. 

The Trump administration has taken a tough stance on North Korea from day one, implementing sanctions that impact more than 80% of the country and working with United Nations allies to pass resolutions that increase pressure on the North Korean regime to denuclearize.  

The result? North Korea has largely stopped conducting nuclear and missile tests since President Trump took office. American citizens who were unlawfully detained in North Korea were finally freed, and the remains of American servicemen returned to U.S. soil. None of this was an accident; it was the result of President Trump’s compassionate and principled diplomacy. 

During his first summit with Kim Jong Un last June, President Trump achieved what former administrations could not: North Korea agreed to work toward denuclearization. It began dismantling a missile launch site and demolishing a nuclear test facility. Not to mention, intercontinental ballistic missiles – the weapon at the heart of decades of frayed relations with America – were left out of its military parade. 

Our president is a dealmaker who knows when to pull out of negotiations that aren’t in America’s interests. That’s what he did earlier this year, when a second summit with Kim Jong Un showed no signs of agreement. Then, just days ago, the two made an unprecedented breakthrough, shaking hands and resolving to return to negotiations.  

Don’t expect to hear any praise from the mainstream media – they criticized this president when he walked away from a bad deal, and they’re criticizing him again now that he’s making historic progress toward peace on the Korean peninsula.  

But the American people know the truth: This administration’s sanctions, along with the president’s personal engagement with Kim Jong Un, have gotten us farther in the process than anyone ever thought possible. We know the road to a denuclearized North Korea is not an easy one, and that multiple administrations have tried and failed. We also know that with a president who won’t stop fighting for American security and peace across the globe, success is closer than ever before and worth celebrating every step of the way.

Ronna McDaniel is chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

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