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Trump Eyes Wide Open On North Korea

Fifty percent of voters have either "a lot" or "some" confidence in President Donald Trump to handle North Korea, up from 47 percent who had some measure of confidence in him last month, according to a Trump NORK meetingnew Politico/Morning Consult poll reported yesterday by our friend Brian Freeman of NewsMax.

What’s more, according to the same poll, 24 percent of American voters think President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

The poll results according to the NewsMax analysis:

24 percent think Trump deserves the Nobel

61 percent think Trump is not deserving of the Nobel

15 percent don't know/have no opinion

Even the New York Times reported Wednesday that President Trump could indeed win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on the Korean Peninsula:

"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…”

But you’d never know that from CNN’s gleeful reporting of every bump and nuance of the pre-summit negotiations.

“…the President and supporters might want to put that talk about the Nobel Peace Prize on ice, at least for now,” snarked CNN’s Stephen Collinson, after the North Koreans complained about the latest round of US – South Korean military exercises.

Collison claimed the North Korean complaints left the White House scrambling to decipher Pyongyang's motives and analysts handicapping the prospects for the summit.

"I have to say, this is a little bit out of the blue," said Harry Kazianis, a Korea expert at the neo-con Center for the National Interest.

"The North Korean pattern is to do provocations whether it is tests of missiles or nukes, ask for negotiations then string us along for months and years," Kazianis said. "But this time, they are not even getting to that point, they are already causing problems before we have the negotiation."

However, General John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, made clear that he has full confidence in President Trump as he prepares to meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un face-to-face.

"This President's got his eyes wide open. Believe me, the president really wants this to work," Kelly told NPR News in an interview published last Thursday.

As the Business Insider’s Bryan Logan observed, news outlets and policy experts have noted exhaustively in the last few months, the top-line subject will be the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

To that effect reports Logan, Kelly says Trump knows what the stakes are, and suggested that the US president is driven by a firm belief that denuclearization begins with North Korea.

"We talk fairly frequently about nuclear weapons and he's just astounded that the United States, that the human race has got itself into this dilemma with all of these nuclear weapons," Kelly said according to Logan’s reporting.

"To help North Korea give up its nuclear program and its missile program would be a wonderful thing," General Kelly added.

For his part the President told reporters at the White House when asked last week if he deserved the Nobel Prize, "Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it." Trump continued, "The prize I want is victory for the world."

President Trump seems to share President Reagan’s genuine horror at the thought of nuclear war, a deeply held belief that drove Reagan to engage Soviet Premier Gorbachev in both diplomatic negotiations to reduce nuclear weapons and a strategic competition that eventually brought down the Soviet Union.

At the time, Leftwing intellectuals and Democratic politicians considered Reagan to be, in the words of Clark Clifford, an “amiable dunce.” Trump’s strategy of opening negotiations with the North Koreans while exerting maximum economic and diplomatic pressure has many similarities to the Reagan strategy against the Soviets. Those on the Left who think Donald Trump is a less-than-amiable dunce who is about to be made a fool by Kim Jong Un would do well to recall who won the face-off between Reagan and the Soviets.

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Trump and the Nobel

The Nobel Peace Prize is so tainted after Obama got the prize shortly after entering office for thinking good things about peace. I would recommend Trump not even accept the prize if offered.

If accepted, I'd give a speech not unlike Mother Teresa's when she was so awarded.