President Donald Trump could win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on the Korean Peninsula, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
"The idea of his 2019 nomination, formally submitted by a group of 18 House Republicans and heartily endorsed by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, has started to take root among his supporters over the past few weeks as his own potentially historic summit meeting with Kim Jong Un of North Korea looms," the Times reported.
Though critics say Trump's fiery rhetoric discounts the idea of his receiving a Nobel, "some laureates and historians of the prize acknowledge that there are instances where such an honor was bestowed on contentious politicians in order to acknowledge and encourage efforts for peace," according to the report.
"Part of the strength of the Nobel Peace Prize is that it is controversial," Berit Reiss-Andersen, who chairs the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told the Times.
"If it was a global consensus prize, it wouldn't have the relevance and the authority that it actually has today."
The committee deliberates about eight months over "hundreds of nominations" for the prize — and Reiss-Andersen declined to comment on Trump's nomination.
"Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it," the president told reporters at the White House on Wednesday when asked if he deserved the honor. "The prize I want is victory for the world."
Trump's supporters cite President Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel in 2009, fewer than nine months into his term, in arguing his case for the prize.
Obama was cited for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Times reported.
But José Ramos-Horta, the former president of East Timor, who received the Nobel in 1996, cautioned any recognition for peace efforts in the region could invite controversy because of the parties involved, including Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
"It could be an absolute scandal if President Kim Jong Un would get the Peace Prize," he told the Times. "And it could be hugely controversial if President Trump would get the Nobel Peace Prize because of other policies, other actions, other statements.
"But President Moon of South Korea, on his own, also wouldn't succeed unless he gets North Korea, Kim Jong Un, to go along in the peace process," Ramos-Horta added.
"In any peace process, it takes two to tango, sometimes more."
To that concern, Reiss-Andersen told the Times: "We hope that the prize can encourage peaceful development.
"The prize itself cannot secure a peaceful development," she added. "That is up to the persons involved at the end of day."
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