Conservatives in the United States and across the western world have started to argue that Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize should the Korean talks go successfully.
For those that don’t remember, the Nobel Peace Prize is a highly symbolic, almost useless piece of metal that signifies little and isn’t worth the material it is cut from. While luminaries such as Mandela, Martin Luther King and more have won it in the past, the prize has also gone to people like Yasser Arafat and Henry Kissinger who advocated for the bombing of half of Southeast Asia.
But, alas, we are not here to debate the merits of the prize itself.
According to some pundits, like Evan Berryhill at the Washington Examiner, Trump deserves the award:
“Not only would a denuclearized North Korea be an achievement from the Trump administration that multiple previous administrations were unable to accomplish, that feat would be a victory for the safety of all Americans and people around the world. Additionally, with Trump’s blessing and at least in part thanks to his foreign policy, North and South Korea are in discussions to formally end their war.
The role as a key broker of peace and denuclearization in North Korea would make Trump a shoo-in for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Others like Jacob Heilbrunn at the Observer strikes a more measured tone on why Trump would want the prize to begin with:
“Indeed, in crass political terms there are immediate upsides for Trump. His administration has been lurching from crisis to crisis, whether it is Stormy Daniels or the Mueller investigation. He needs a breather. It may not last long. The risks are high. But Korea can help provide him with the respite he needs and eventually maybe even a Nobel.”
What many forget in their assumption that Trump would be a strong candidate for the peace prize is this entire negotiation process was the result of hard work done by the Moon Jae-in administration.
The South Korean president has been instrumental in kickstarting talks to begin with. While Trump was tweeting about Rocket-man Kim and comparing the size of his nuclear button, Moon was negotiating with the north behind the scenes and in public.
While Trump was considering pre-emptively bombing Pyongyang and appointing war hawk John Bolton to his cabinet, Moon was employing his Olympic-diplomacy.
To the consternation of people inside his own country and in Trump’s state department, Moon pursued diplomacy with the North when it seemed silly to do so.
Now, he is meeting with Kim (before Trump) and looks set to bring about a peace treaty that has been missing since the start of the Korean War. If the talks are successful then it is Moon Jae-in and not Donald J Trump that will deserve the peace prize.