By Terence Way
On early morning Thursday, May 10, 2018, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence personally welcomed home three American hostages that were detained by North Korea. After a “suggestion” by President Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had released them to Secretary of State Pompeo earlier this month. This was likely a culmination of President Trump’s (and his team’s) foreign policy and other moves, especially for the last two months. Like him or not, love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the recent foreign policy results.
Let’s take a moment here for a bit of context. Sure, this was a great photo opportunity for the administration. But this was three o’clock in the morning! A daytime ceremony at the White House arranged with an official press conference would have been more convenient. Additionally, American presidents rarely greet arrivals at their airplane, including heads of states. And finally, for security reasons, the President and Vice President typically don’t travel together nor rendezvous outside. Intentionally or not, by welcoming home the returning Americans AS THEY STEPPED OFF their airplane, President Trump was unconventionally reminding Americans who he works for– WE the PEOPLE.
President Trump has been relentlessly derided for the turnovers and hires within his senior leadership. Even the media coverage regarding leaks and speculation surrounding the White House seems unprecedented. However, even though it’s only been a few weeks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have produced under the president’s leadership.
It has also been argued by the media that President Trump is so unfit, untethered, and irrational that he would start WW3 and/or cause mass casualties and suffering to our troops and citizens worldwide. Whether all the criticism have any validity or is just yellow journalism for anything related to President Trump, one would be hard-pressed to ignore the positives thus far.
While the Trump Administration emphasizes that the US cannot police the entire world, the administration reminded the world that the US will not be idle when regimes deploy chemical weapons on civilians. Iran is experiencing first-hand (yet again) the consequences of threatening its neighbors. China is having to think twice while we engage with Taiwan, play with trade tariffs, and cruise through disputed waters off south-east Asia with our warships. And, oh, by the way, North Korea is uncharacteristically acting REALLY nice, raising prospects of a peaceful and nuclear-free Korean peninsula, while Russia looks on from the outside (this time around).
Simply put, PEACE through strength apparently still works!
Although he has repeatedly dissed the North Korean leader in the past, President Trump now has THANKED and PRAISED Kim Jong Un for releasing three American hostages, one of which was detained during former President Obama’s administration. Whether this is a sign of good faith by the North Korean leader, or part of a larger chess maneuver, we can hope and pray that President Trump continues to be an effective leader on the world stage.
President Trump is now preparing for the Singapore summit with the North Korean leader on June 12th. Most are cautiously optimistic because we have been down similar paths before. But hope and excitement has never been higher for this historical undertaking. How inconceivable was all this just a few months ago?
As we remember our fallen heroes this upcoming Memorial Day, we should also remember the estimated MILLION lives lost during the Korean War- and that both North and South Korea are STILL officially at war. If the Korean War officially ends soon, as is expected by year’s end, it would be difficult to deny the historical significance, nor to deny credit to President Trump’s leadership on the world stage.
If this also leads to the likely reduction to our military footprint in the Korean peninsula, it would be a welcome relief not just for many Americans, but also to the Koreans that have been uncomfortable or against the US military presence (along the DMZ). Furthermore, this relief should positively affect future federal budgets.
We are one nation, and many have given their lives to preserve our nation’s freedoms. Let us be grateful for whatever peace and blessings come our way, whether it’s from leadership we agree with or not. It also won’t hurt to say a prayer for our nation and the world’s future as well. And lastly, let us thank and pray for those families that have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. God Bless America!