Trump’s his­toric step

Houston Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER -

Chal­lenges ahead

Re­gard­ing “U.S. and North Korea be­gin a new chap­ter” (Page A1, Tues­day), the sum­mit meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and Kim Jong Un was just the first step on a jour­ney that will be long, if it doesn’t get thrown off course by ei­ther or both par­ties, which is at least a start. Now comes the tough part. North Korea is known for promis­ing to scrap its nukes in ex­change for con­ces­sions and then break­ing those prom­ises once it gets what it wants. But Trump and his team are well aware of North Korea’s record and will not give up any­thing sig­nif­i­cant un­til the North has made good on its side of the bar­gain, which is a com­plete, ver­i­fied, ir­re­versible de­nu­cle­ariza­tion. That is why Pres­i­dent Trump said sanc­tions will re­main in place as things move for­ward.

The chal­lenge ahead is enor­mous. Wash­ing­ton must be able to de­ter­mine ex­actly what nu­clear weapons and fa­cil­i­ties the North has now, then ver­ify that they’ve all been de­stroyed and fi­nally, en­sure that North Korea isn’t re­sum­ing its nuke pro­gram later. Know­ing that a Triple D regime (de­vi­ous, dis­hon­est and dan­ger­ous) such as Kim’s, has spent much time and money on its nukes, you won­der if they re­ally plan to aban­don them now or if it’s just win­dow dress­ing.

Right now, we can only hope for the best.

Mike Ga­nis, Hous­ton

Long jour­ney

Fol­low­ing the de­feat of Nazi Ger­many’s air force, the Luft­waffe, at the Bat­tle of Bri­tain in 1941, Sir Win­ston Churchill cau­tioned the British peo­ple to tem­per their en­thu­si­as­tic cel­e­bra­tion with these poignant words: “Now this is not the end nor is it the be­gin­ning of the end, but at least it’s the end of the be­gin­ning.”

So too with Pres­i­dent Trump’s his­toric achieve­ment with the U.S.-North Korean peace talks with Kim Jong Un at Sin­ga­pore on Tues­day. It’s a start of a long process, but it’s not the end.

The old Chinese proverb, “The jour­ney of a thou­sand miles starts with the first step” is ap­pli­ca­ble here. Per­haps that his­toric meet­ing will be not only the end of the be­gin­ning, but also the be­gin­ning of the end of this long Korean night­mare.

Mike Gon­za­les, Hous­ton



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