New engagement with North Korea could offer a promising step towards peace, holds Philip Williams of ABC News. It might have been Trump’s authoritative diplomacy that forced Kim Jong-un’s hand and brought him to the table. The North Korean dictator has more of a reason to fear US military engagement, which Trump has shown a new openness to. Making China cut its trade with the regime was also crucial as this will choke its already slumping economy. While a healthy dose of skepticism is always needed when dealing with Kim Jong-un, these developments under Trump indicate that North Korea might be willing to make concessions now.
America should not have agreed to North Korea’s proposal of negotiations without extracting as many demands as possible first, argues Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. This gives the regime the legitimacy that it craves and puts it in a stronger bargaining position. Historically, North Korea has gone back on deals it made, so these talks might not change anything. Furthermore, Trump should not have agreed to talk to the regime himself. He should be sending experienced diplomats and coordinate with South Korea and Japan first. The US having agreed to negotiations so soon skipped many necessary steps in the diplomatic process.