In a wide-ranging speech from the Rose Garden of the White House, the U.S. President said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had sent a "most beautiful five-page letter" to the Nobel committee to nominate him for the prize for his work to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump has repeatedly boasted that he deserves much of the credit for the eased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but observers say Trump's string of bellicose threats directed at DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and his country in 2017, including his vow to rain "fire and fury" and "totally destroy" the nation of 25 million people if it threatened the U.S. or its allies, contributed much to the fears of a possible conflict at the time.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong-based media consultant, thinks Trump is merely trying to use the special occasion to send a message about the upcoming Hanoi Summit. "It's a warning to Shinzo Abe who is known to do many stunts and create incidents, and try to frame events in the direction of the conservative Japanese foreign policy. Trump is warning him that ‘I don't want to see a stunt for the Hanoi Summit with Kim Jong Un'."
Einar Tangen, an American author and columnist, predicts that Trump would have zero chance of actually winning the Nobel Prize. "The Nobel Prize is not given to people who fire cruise missile while they are having dessert with other countries leaders. They are not given to people who have walked away from the Paris Climate Accord. They are not given to people who withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia and then put their allies in the jackpot."
President Trump has already faced his fair share of domestic headaches, including a spat with the Democrats and the partial government shutdown. Shane Hahm, a CGTN correspondent in Seoul, thinks Trump is trying to divert attention using the potential Nobel Prize nomination. "As far as the Korean peninsula issue in terms of denuclearization in his upcoming summit with Chairman Kim of the DPRK, this is his one and big opportunity in terms of a foreign policy standpoint to really deliver, as President Trump faces scandal and chaos on the domestic front back in the U.S."
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