To the Editor:
The historic meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un deserves the admiration and praise of not only the nations involved, but international approval as well. The minimal threat of a nuclear confrontation has been averted, if not avoided. Koreans on both sides of the 37th parallel can now afford to dream of reuniting with those separated by the conflict that ended more than 70 years ago.
However, the euphoria of this first step in restoring peninsular peace comes with many caveats. The brutality of the North Korean regime should be factored into every meeting that involves their request to gain formal recognition and their promises to reduce nuclear capabilities and improve citizens’ living conditions. Kim and his advisors are not accustomed either to charitable expression.
The U.S. role, which will continue to be highly significant, should show measured restraint plus demands for compliance to any disarmament agreements. With favorable comments of the initial meeting and an invitation for Kim to come to the White House, it might suggest that the president is proclaiming victory in the first inning. But the reality is that Kim is already ahead by several runs. Now, it’s time for the peaceful participants to remind the North Koreans that admission to the world community means eliminating all bad habits: suppression, aggression and atrocities.