When President Donald Trump claimed that North Korea is no longer a "nuclear threat," experts expressed skepticism. For Trump to declare such a bold statement, he inferred that North Korea will denuclearize. But, as shown by the recent news of North Korea's nuclear production actually going up, Trump's claim never fails to make him look foolish. His claim already disputes the long-standing tradition of American hostility towards North Korea, from President Bush's Axis of Evil to Obama's maximum patience. By breaking away from the tradition, Trump rewarded North Korea with compliments. And so, he normalized North Korea to the world stage.
Through the normalization, Trump gave a message: if you want the US to back off, you must develop nukes. Think about it: North Korean and American flags side to say, a maligned dictator shaking heads with the President, heck the same dictator being cheered by a bunch of ecstatic Singaporeans. So, naturally, North Korea will get so cocky that they will do whatever they want. Surely, they are not irrational enough to flat out attack the US. Instead, they will do continue what makes them successful: developing their nuclear program.
So, in light of the news, I argue that Trump's mere acceptance of the invitation itself gave North Korea bragging rights about their nuclear program.
When South Korean officials came with an invite, what a normal American President would do is to reject it. President Bush rejected it, and so did Obama. Trump did not. Why? Many experts speculated because he thought of the White House as a reality show. Numerous firings of the cabinet, temper tantrums in the Oval Office, embarrassing stories leaked to the press--the White House and Jersey Shore share no difference. What a crazy way to amp up the drama is to do what no American President has done before. So, when Trump accepted it, the aftermath was insane. Many experts were flabbergasted, the media was rushing to get the details, and many people cracked up jokes. And yet, no ounce of substance was there. Trump didn't think what the US would do. He thought: what would Trump do? By removing any concern of the US national interest, he normalized North Korea to the diplomatic sphere and Kim Jong Un wasn't even right next to him yet.
When the summit came, Kim Jong Un was treated like a kpop star. Suddenly, every single Singaporean wanted a selfie with him and shouted his name like any fangirl would. With such an ecstatic reaction, North Korea, of course, will take that as a propaganda victory. With spirits raising high, the country won't forget what made them equal with an American President in the first place: the nuclear program. So, they, of course, will continue working on it. If that brought the whole world chanting their leader's name, then why not. With all that said and done, President Trump won't realize what he had just done.
He, in fact, might want to start another summit with Kim again.