President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended the first day of a two-day summit on Feb. 27 in Hanoi, Vietnam, and both men expressed optimism about achieving peace and moving toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Despite the optimism voiced by the leaders, many experts are still skeptical that the summit would yield significant progress toward “complete denuclearization,” which was what Trump and Kim promised to deliver at their Singapore summit last June. That was the first time that the leaders from both countries had met.
Trump thinks he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to make peace with North Korea. Now, it appears North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might want one, too.
“Authorities are putting out propaganda that idolizes Kim Jong Un, saying there’s a global ‘praise fever for the world’s greatest man,’” a North Korean government official told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service.
“The propaganda even mentions that Western and Japanese media sources are lavishing praise upon the Supreme Leader, saying he’s a potential winner of the Peace Prize.”
In February, Trump said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had personally given him “the most beautiful copy” of a letter nominating him for the prize for opening talks with Kim. Abe refused to confirm or deny the story, although unnamed Japanese government officials told domestic media that the prime minister had indeed submitted a nomination last year.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in believes Trump “fully deserves” the prize, his office said last month, and Moon himself has showered more praise on Trump since then.
“If President Trump succeeds in dissolving the last remaining Cold War rivalry, it will become yet another great feat that will be indelibly recorded in world history,” he said in a statement.
It seem implausible that either Trump or Kim will win the Nobel Peace Prize. Many security officials in the United States and abroad worry that in his quest for the prize, Trump might make some rash pledge, such as to withdraw American forces from South Korea.
But delusions can be helpful if they make each side more willing to make concessions and pursue an arduous peace process.