Tuesday's nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un staved off a devastating war, former Bush administration official Victor Cha argued in a new opinion piece.
Writing in The New York Times, Cha said it was the "creative Olympics diplomacy" displayed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump's decision to sit down with Kim in Singapore that cooled the tensions — which were threatening to boil over into an all-out war.
The summit was set up to negotiate North Korea's denuclearization, and Trump said Kim pledged to do just that.
In his Times piece, Cha said everything seemed to come together at the historic summit — despite some unanswered questions lingering, including whether Kim is actually willing to give up his nuclear weapons.
"Despite its many flaws, the Singapore summit represents the start of a diplomatic process that takes us away from the brink of war," wrote Cha, who served as the National Security Council director for Asia from 2004-2007.
"North Korea will not be testing any more missiles or nuclear bombs while the diplomacy continues, and the talks led by [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo will hopefully make progress toward stopping the world's worst runaway nuclear program."
Trump's vow to end joint military drills with South Korea and his desire to send home all 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there stunned the region, however, with critics saying he is giving up too much.
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