Donald Trump pledged, when running for presidency, that he would do everything in his power to reduce unwarranted expenses including those for the upkeep of GIs abroad and prioritize domestic issues and the interests of American citizens. This earned for him the admiration of his fellow-citizens.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the successive presidents of the US had been pursuing policies based on emotions rather than reasons, on the force of habit rather than scientific judgment. They seemed too proud of the “American Empire” without recognizing the change of the times.
The same is true of its relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The US has remained hostile to the DPRK over the past seven decades, out of its political ambition to dominate the whole of Korea. It would be too humiliating for the “sole superpower in the world” to make any concession to the small country, even though it swallowed a bitter pill each time. Its political judgment that the DPRK would collapse before long turned out to be foolish and subjective.
To look back, the US has threatened the DPRK with nukes for more than 70 years. This forced the latter to possess nuclear weapons of its own, even H-bomb. After all, the US invited the scourge of nuclear threat against itself.
Trump is well advised to understand this stark reality. It is uncertain whether his pledge as to the withdrawal of troops from south Korea is based on the economic calculations of the erstwhile real estate dealer or his reasonable fear of a possible nuclear holocaust on American soil.
If he is truly concerned about the safety of American citizens, it would be a good idea for him to have GIs pull out of south Korea promptly and renew dialogue with the DPRK.
What is required of him now is the courage not to make the same mistakes as his predecessors did in dealing with the DPRK. The international community is attentive to what he is going to choose.