Rick Manning: Trump courageously takes bold risk for peace with Kim meeting

With his meeting Sunday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump showed once again why he is the most transformative figure on the planet.

After a G20 summit in Japan, where he held separate meetings with several leaders of other major nations, Trump chose to take a chance few would take by inviting Kim to meet him at the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.

Trump decided to take the risk of meeting the volatile leader of the North at a place where American troops have been stationed for almost four generations, in the hopes of putting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on track.

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Hot on the heels of refusing to militarily escalate the U.S. confrontation with Iran, Trump demonstrated his determination to try to use his presidency to both make America stronger and to make the world a safer place.

Remember that it wasn’t too long after President Barack Obama left office that his national security adviser, Susan Rice, wrote in an op-ed published by The New York Times: “History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea – the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War.”

With that comment, Rice provided a window into the Obama policy perspective toward North Korea, which led to eight years of ignoring and in many respects enabling the threat posed by the communist regime.

The failed naysayers of the past condemned Trump for his bellicose tone and some called him a dangerous warmonger. Yet it was Trump’s tough tone that changed the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.

President Trump declared that a nuclear North Korea was not acceptable and posed a threat to the United States. In August 2017 Trump told reporters: “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The failed naysayers of the past condemned Trump for his bellicose tone and some called him a dangerous warmonger. Yet it was Trump’s tough tone that changed the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.

Now the North still takes guidance from China, its powerful communist ally, but seeks the advantages of a direct relationship with South Korea and the United States.

It’s true that Trump’s effort to get the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program has not yet been successful. But Trump is the only U.S. president who has been willing to take the risks necessary to try to lure North Korea out of darkness and away from its nuclear ambitions.

In Washington – where risk-taking is penalized by a media and political system determined to declare failure – Trump has a different approach.

The president’s approach is born of a certain knowledge that he has a minimum of four years in office and hopefully eight. That means his clock is running and he doesn’t have time to wait on the world’s conventions to get the job done and leave both America and the world in a better place than he found it.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who supports Trump’s policy toward North Korea. said that “President Trump is the maker of peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount found in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 9, Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

And while it takes both parties to make peace, Trump has proven himself to be willing to endure criticism while being a catalyst for the possibility of peace.

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Donald Trump, the unexpected president, is growing into the man driven by a singular desire to use his time to go down the road less traveled and try to solve what conventional thinkers view as intractable problems.

No one knows how the end of the story will be written, but at least one man has courageously laid down a marker. And for that, all of America should be proud.

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