May 2, 2018 | Opinion
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize.” It is hard to imagine anyone other than Mr. Trump expressing that sentiment. But the quote is from his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, citing Mr. Trump’s work to engineer talks between the two Koreas and the tantalizing prospect of a long-sought peace and denuclearization on the peninsula.
If Mr. Trump feels triumphant, he’s not without justification — for now. The dramatic images beamed around the world from Panmunjom — with the North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, setting foot in the South for the first time since the war, smiling, holding hands with Mr. Moon and signing onto a broad peace declaration — owe something to Mr. Trump’s crazy-like-a-fox foreign policy. His administration smartly built on the economic pressure and isolation campaign initiated by President Barack Obama. His infamous “fire and fury” threat seems to have spooked Mr. Moon as much as it did Mr. Kim into redoubling efforts to avoid a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea that might unleash a devastating war. His swift agreement to meet with Mr. Kim effectively raised the diplomatic ante.
It’s also true that North Korea’s remarkable progress over the past two years in developing an intercontinental nuclear weapon, coupled with a cave-in at its main testing site, allows Mr. Kim to press the pause button, de-escalate the tension he generated and go for the diplomatic high ground…