Cal Thomas: The Trump-Kim summit


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, June 12th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Today’s the day of the unprecedented, historic, and, frankly, weird summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Possible outcomes range from the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to just more of the same lies and dissembling from North Korea, with plenty of shades of gray in between.

REICHARD: Commentary now from WORLD Radio’s Cal Thomas.

THOMAS: World events do not occur in a vacuum. Former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger advises President Trump to see an interconnection between a potential deal with North Korea and the flawed nuclear deal with Iran made by the Obama administration.

Ettinger maintains a thoughtful blog, and about today’s summit he reminds readers that rogue states like Iran and North Korea largely take their cues from America’s strategic posture. I’ll quote him here: “… the less assertive and more eager is the U.S., and the more reluctant it is to use the military option, the less deterred and the more radicalized are Iran and North Korea.” End quote.

In other words, dictators look for weaknesses in their adversaries and exploit what they find. That President Trump demonstrated strength and resolve when he canceled the summit after some of Kim’s associates threatened the United States, is likely what led to a quick re-scheduling of the event.

Let’s talk about the Iran deal: Ettinger notes that since it took effect, Iran has radicalized and intensified its military involvement in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Not to mention increasing its subversive and terrorist operations, quoting Ettinger now, with the aim of toppling “all pro-U.S. Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan and Egypt, as well as multitude of pro-Western regimes in Asia and Africa, and entrenching [its] anti-U.S. presence in Latin America.” End quote.

This is precisely why Ronald Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength” worked and why peace through appeasement never does.

Iran behaves as if the nuclear agreement with the United States gave it a green light to step up its support of terrorism. Here’s hoping President Trump doesn’t similarly green-light North Korean aggression.

There’s a lot at stake here, and the president would do well to operate from the understanding that only strength deters dictators from their ambitious goals.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.


(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) People watch a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 11, 2018. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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