Trump needs to be tough

North Korea’s claim it will suspend testing of nuclear weapons is the show of good faith that absolutely had to precede direct talks between that country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But Trump is right to adopt what, at first glance, may seem to be a contradictory approach to negotiations. It is that Kim’s agreement to meet is a very real breakthrough while, at the same time, not the concrete action needed to lessen tensions in that region of Asia.

Clearly, something needs to be done about North Korea’s military buildup. Possession of long-range missiles and nuclear warheads by the rogue regime is, in a word, unacceptable.

It has been known for many years that Pyongyang was aiming toward status as a major military threat. But it appears it has taken the Trump administration’s no-nonsense attitude toward the problem to bring Kim to the bargaining table.

Is he interested in an honest, realistic solution to the problem? Or is he merely stalling for time to strengthen his arsenal?

Either position is possible. Given the regime’s history, however, the latter is far more likely.

Trump is correct in saying that if he meets with Kim and finds the dictator is trying to play Americans for fools once again, he will walk out of the room. A realistic, verifiable disarmament agreement is imperative.

Merely postponing a confrontation that, on Kim’s current path, could be a terrible chapter in history would not serve the cause of peace.

By Kerry Minor

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