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When Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Talk

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NewsHubOver the last couple of months, North Korea seemed to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. As the little Hermit Kingdom toiled away on its nuclear arsenal, many in the West have remained focused on what President-elect Donald Trump Donald Trump Putin’s New Year’s statement congratulates Trump, not Obama Anthony Bourdain on Trump win: People were sick of ‘privileged’ liberals 10 celebrities who could run for office MORE and the resurgent Republican Congress could mean for trade, taxes, and health care.
Yet according to the latest reports, President Barack Obama warned Trump that a nuclear North Korea may be the greatest foreign policy concern of the next four years. For all the focus on domestic issues, the Trump administration may find its first challenge in the dangerous game being played by Kim Jong Un.
First, the Trump administration should explore withdrawing conventional U. S. military forces from the Korean Peninsula, a move he called for multiple times along the campaign trail. As foreign policy scholar Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute has argued , the 28,500 U. S. troops on the peninsula likely do more harm than good. There is wide agreement that the advanced South Korean military is more than capable of defeating the poorly equipped North Korean military and the Kim regime knows this.
Beyond wasting U. S. taxpayer money, the deployment may actually prevent an end to the 66-year long conflict. North Korean officials regularly refer to the presence of U. S. conventional forces on the peninsula to justify the escalation of the nation’s nuclear program. By removing conventional forces from the Korean Peninsula, a Trump administration could help move us closer toward a normalization of relations and a formal end to the half century-long conflict.
Second, while working to diffuse the immediate military threat of a nuclear North Korea, Trump’s administration should refocus the conversation on reform within North Korea.

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