MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – President Donald Trump made history this weekend as the first sitting U.S. president to enter North Korea.
One tweet opened the door for President Trump to make history by stepping into North Korea.
“It’s something that would have been unthinkable I think under any other U.S. president, whether Democrat or Republican,” said Mark Bell, assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.
Bell, who specializes in U.S. foreign policy and nuclear diplomacy, says this is a major accomplishment for North Korea, but it’s unclear if the United States benefits at all.
“The problem is that there isn’t much progress to sort of pair with these photo opportunities,” Bell said.
Senator Amy Klobuchar agrees.
“He keeps having these summits and meetings that really don’t produce anything. He’s had a number of them now and this time you just can’t look at this as going over and talking to your dictator next door and bringing them a hot dish over the fence – there’s a lot more,” Klobuchar said.
When asked if people in the White House are uncomfortable with these conversations, Bell says yes.
“Yes. Yes, I think it’s clear that many in the White House have long been uncomfortable with this approach,” Bell said.
Bell says there is little to show after summits in Singapore and Hanoi.
“As things stand, North Korea is continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal. It has already demonstrated that it has high yield nuclear weapons, it has missiles capable of hitting the United States,” Bell said.
It remains to be seen whether a personal relationship will turn these photo ops into nuclear de-escalation.
Bell suspects Iran is watching all off this interaction very closely. He says the message President Trump is sending right now is nuclear weapons get you a meeting with a U.S. president on your own turf.