A Second Trump-Kim Summit Is Good, But I'm Skeptical

A Second Trump-Kim Summit Is Good, But I'm Skeptical

The North Korean leader will meet with President Trump in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.

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I didn't watch the State of the Union address. Despite all the hullabaloo that had been made over it while President Trump and Speaker Pelosi were caught in the government shutdown standoff, I completely forgot that it was even happening.

The only reason I even remembered? I caught the tail end of it on TV while running on a treadmill at the gym.

Now, shame on me and my poor current affairs skills, but despite it all, I didn't actually take the time to watch Trump's speech as it was happening. I did watch the Kansas-K-State basketball game though (congrats Wildcats) and got a truncated version of the speech from my roommate later.

Included in that review was the knowledge that President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will be meeting in three weeks' time in Vietnam.

I was blindsided by that. Their previous summit, held in Singapore on June 12, 2018, had originally been proposed by the North Koreans during and right around the time of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which were held in PyeongChang, South Korea in February of that year. Comparatively, the declaration for this summit, scheduled for February 27th and 28th, has had no similar lead-up.

As of my writing this, the Trump administration has just 21 days to pull things together.

Now, of course, the fact that knowledge of the Vietnam summit (which will be held in either Hanoi or Da Nang) was not public until the State of the Union address does not mean there wasn't already groundwork being laid for the event. In fact, I'd be very much doubt if there hasn't already been some sort of dialogue over where, when, and how to hold this upcoming summit. And yet, it still seems curious to me that there had been no mention of it before now, especially given the issues the Republicans faced in the 2018 midterms.

After all, up to this point, the talks with North Korea have been primarily about optics. One would be hard-pressed to argue otherwise. If Trump had advanced knowledge of such a continued conversation, why not unleash it during the midterms as an example of successful Republican foreign policy?

That is unless you don't see the Trump-Kim summits as a successful foreign policy, which in many ways I don't. Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, one of the most militarized regions in the world, is a goal most all of us want, and when news first broke about the Trump-Kim summit of last year, I was encouraged.

Now? Still encouraged, but also skeptical.

While saying no to diplomatic dialogue is often a foolhardy action, being railroaded and manipulated in said dialogues by foreign counterparts is almost worse.

While Trump has declared major foreign policy wins in regard to both Russia and North Korea and (supposedly) improved diplomatic relations with each, neither has taken definitive action that would seem to truly satisfy American interest. When President Trump met with Vladimir Putin, also last year, their joint press conference was widely seen as American capitulation, especially as Putin continued to deny that Russia was responsible for running interference in the 2016 election. Likewise, despite the cessation of nuclear testing on the Korean Peninsula, Kim Jong-Un has taken few, if any, steps to complete denuclearization of his rogue nation. If anything, the process has become only more convoluted, with some figures in the area of international affairs warning that the North Korean regime will merely move and conceal its nuclear weapons from international inspectors, rather than comply with any substantive agreement with the United States.

Ultimately, such lack of progress after the first summit some eight months ago leaves me dubious that this time around things will be different. If Kim wasn't willing to make a significant change last June, what would be different now that could convince him to change course? If anything, the Republicans' loss of the House of Representatives in 2018 likely signals to the rest of the world that Trump and his ideologies do not have nearly the same kind of stranglehold on American life as do true authoritarians like Putin and Kim.

And yet, with that being said, I'd hate to entirely snuff out hope. After all, Kim has agreed to talk again and, if anything, the prologue to these talks seems to be going much smoother than the last time around, when a variety of factors almost led to the summit being canceled.

This second summit should be met with optimism, albeit a cautious kind.

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

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I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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