Trump claims credit for renewed talks between North and South Korea

North Korea South Korea
North and South Korean border, photo by Johannes Barre via Wikimedia commons

United States President Donald Trump has recently taken the credit for the re-opening of talks between North and South Korea. Trump said that the United States threats for nuclear war had persuaded North Korea to re-establish diplomacy with South Korea.

This Wednesday North Korea reopened a hotline on the border that had been silent for the last two years. For many this suggested that tensions between North and South Korea were beginning to cool down after recent months of military posturing.

2017 had seen a back and forth between Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un with both leaders boasting their ability to wage nuclear war. North Korea tested its highest performing ballistic missile and the US state of Hawaii re-introduced nuclear attack sirens as a preparation for potential North Korean attack.

The move to re-open the hotline followed soon after Donald Trump tweeted a taunt aimed at Kim Jong-un talking about the size of his own “nuclear button”. This timing prompted Trump to conclude that his posturing had scared North Korea into wanting to improve relations with South Korea for fear of US nuclear attack.

Trump stated that he re-opening of talks between North and South Korea was due to his “firm” and “strong” stance against Kim Jong-un. He went on to say that his willingness to “commit our total ‘might’ against the North” had put North Korea in its place and called those who doubted him “fools”.

Trump concluded by saying that he though the new talks between the two mortal enemies was a “good thing”. North and South Korea have still technically been at war since the truce in 1953 which is different from a formal peace treaty.

The remarks by Trump were in contrast to those by the US United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley who tried to remove herself from the new contact between North and South Korea. She said that the situation did not need a “Band-Aid” and that the end goal was for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

The United States State Department gave a warning that this new contact could be a North Korean attempt to separate the United States from South Korea.

The hotline call lasted only 20 minutes but the details of the discussion were not made public. The hotline was originally shut down by North Korea in a backlash against the closing of a border town operated by both North and South Korea.

A North Korean news broadcast agency said that the talks were regarding the prospect of a North Korean delegation visiting South Korea’s Winter Olympic Games this year.