Trump and Kim set for showdown of the century

War of words: Trump has labelled Kim a “madman” and a “sick puppy”, but also a “smart cookie”.

Will Trump solve the North Korea crisis? The president has agreed to a historic meeting with Kim Jong-un, who has talked of ditching nuclear weapons. Some say Trump is walking into a trap.

The world could be on the brink of the “greatest deal” in its history. That is what President Donald Trump declared to supporters at a rally yesterday, as preparations begin for an historic face-to-face meeting between the US president and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

If the meeting goes ahead it would be a remarkable development. For months Trump and Kim have been embroiled in a fierce war of words, Kim branding Trump a “mentally deranged dotard” and Trump threatening to “totally destroy North Korea”. Some worried that a nuclear war could break out for real.

While a summit between the two leaders could be a turning point, striking a meaningful agreement will require extraordinary diplomacy. The possibility of North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons will likely rest on the condition that America pulls its troops out of South Korea.

But some worry that Kim has no intention of striking such a deal, and that Trump is walking straight into his trap.

Meeting the US president on equal terms would be a huge propaganda coup from Kim, helping legitimise his regime. North Korea expert Harry Kazianis predicts the dictator would “take the pictures of him shaking Donald Trump’s hand and plaster them over every billboard across North Korea”.

Will Trump be able to solve the North Korea crisis?

Art of the deal

Trump is being played, some argue. And the summit could actually make things much worse. If the talks fail and nothing is achieved, it might convince Trump that military action is the only option. We could be heading for war, not peace.

This time it is different, others respond. All other presidents refused face-to-face talks and the crisis has only worsened. Trump has a chance to make a difference and we should give him our support.

You Decide

  1. Will North Korea ever give up its nuclear weapons?

Activities

  1. Imagine you are a reporter sent to cover the meeting. You are allowed to ask both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un one question. What would you ask them and why?

Some People Say...

“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose.”

President Donald Trump

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
We know that President Trump has accepted an offer of face-to-face talks with Kim Jong-un. The message was delivered via South Korean diplomats. An official invite from North Korea is yet to be extended.
What do we not know?
While the White House has since insisted that North Korea must meet certain conditions before a meeting goes ahead, we do not know precisely what these are.

Word Watch

Meeting
A white house statement claimed that North Korea must first make “concrete steps” towards giving up nuclear weapons before the meeting takes place.
Troops
America has over 23,000 troops permanently stationed in South Korea.
No intention
North Korea has pledged to end their nuclear weapons programme in the past before reneging on their commitments. For example, in 1992 North and South Korea both signed a “joint declaration of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

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