A national defense analyst says President Donald Trump's surprise visit to North Korea may jumpstart new talks about a denuclearized regime but where that leads is anyone’s guess.
Even the president’s critics had to admit the moment was historic: President Trump stepped across a raised portion of concrete at the Joint Security Area, becoming the first sitting president to set foot in the reclusive and oppressive country.
“From a tweet to a handshake,” The New York Times wrote, “to a historic 20 steps by an American leader into officially hostile territory.”
After a hand shake, Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un met for approximately 50 minutes and agreed to revive talks on the rogue nation's nuclear program.
Bob Maginnis, a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, says Sunday's historic event was more than a photo-op. It likely restarted negotiations, he says.
“I think that Mr. Trump wants some progress,” Maginnis observes, “and in a way I believe Kim wants progress too.”
The military analyst adds, however, that there is no way Kim is about to give up his nuclear weapons because that would require assurance that his regime would survive.
There are also legitimate concerns, he says, about Trump appearing “cozy” with a brutal dictator who tortures and murders his own people.
“What [Trump's] got to do is figure out how to basically defang the monster,” Maginnis says. “It doesn't excuse the horrendous human rights record by no means."
Trump also told reporters he invited the North Korean leader to the United States and potentially even to the White House.