Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Showman Trump Abandons Cautious Obama Approach to North Korea

Showman Trump Abandons  Cautious Obama Approach to North Korea

WASHINGTON - When President Barack Obama counseled his successor Donald Trump on the global threats he should expect to face once he assumed office last year, a nuclear North Korea and its unpredictable leader were at the top of the list.
But while the meticulous Obama practiced caution in handling Kim Jong Un, the blustery Trump succumbed to his own penchant for reality TV showmanship, culminating with his shock decision on Thursday to agree to meet with North Korea’s leader and become the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
Trump’s move is a sharp departure from 60 years of largely arms-length U.S. diplomacy when it comes to North Korea, not to mention his own previous bellicose rhetoric against Pyongyang. It also represents another instance in which the Republican Trump, a businessman who promised to shake up Washington, took a completely different direction than his Democratic predecessor.
Trump’s willingness to take that dramatic step is a reflection of his showboat style, throwing out the diplomatic playbook and putting himself in the spotlight, in addition to what aides say is his desire to resolve the North Korea crisis before it spins out of control.
“It’s hard to know whether this is just his supreme confidence that he can get a deal done with his own business experience, or whether he is calculating that he wins either way,” said Jim Steinberg, who served as deputy secretary of state under Democratic President Bill Clinton. “It’s always hard to know with Trump how well thought through this is.”
Obama, like his immediate predecessors, took a far more deliberate approach. As a presidential candidate he famously suggested meeting with U.S. enemies, and ended up relaunching Washington’s relationships with Cuba and Iran as president.
But he did not take that same step with North Korea, once warning Pyongyang that “you don’t get to bang your spoon on the table and somehow you get your way.” (Reuters)