US Politics: Does Trump deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

South Korea President Moon Jae-in
Trump's efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula could earn him the Peace Prize.
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The President of South Korea has claimed that Donald Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. The Tradefair team brings you the latest in US Politics...

"If anyone were to win the Nobel Peace Prize for the current effort to solve the North Korean nuclear problem, it should be President Trump."

- Moon Jae-in, South Korean President.

It's been another busy week in Washington, as the special counsel investigation into the President continues and the Stormy Daniels scandal remains unsettled. However, it's attention of a very different kind that is circulating Donald Trump in the latest headlines.

Calls for President Trump to win the Nobel Peace Prize have emerged and there's a great possibility he could walk away with the prestigious accolade. South Korean President Moon Jae-in put forward the Commander-in-Chief after it was suggested that he himself should be nominated for the award.

According to the Washington Post, he said: "If anyone were to win the Nobel Peace Prize for the current effort to solve the North Korean nuclear problem, it should be President Trump."

It comes after a landmark meeting between President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that ended in an commitment to end a war between the two nations that has lasted nearly 70 years.

Peace in the Korean Peninsula

Despite an armistice being signed in July 1953, which saw the creation of a two-mile-wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, no formal peace treaty was ever agreed and so the pair have been in a longstanding ceasefire. Until now.

It may seem like a technicality to end a war that hasn't seen any major conflict for a number of decades, but the moves towards peace in the Korean Peninsula mean much more than that.

Previous talks have fallen through because of missile tests launched by North Korea and its seemingly stubborn stance on maintaining its nuclear arsenal. However, during the landmark summit in Panmunjom, Moon and Kim agreed to sign a peace treaty by the end of the year that would include work towards denuclearisation of the area.

"South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula," a shared declaration said.

But where does Trump come in?

Although it never officially declared war on North Korea, the US supported South Korea in fighting against the invasion from Pyongyang. Since then, US Presidents have had a difficult relationship with the Korean Peninsula but Trump's threats of military action and international sanctions over North Korea's missile activity may have been enough to force the two nations into talks.

However, it's unlikely that a peace treaty will be the end of any conflict in the area, as humanitarian concerns persist about how the North Korean regime treats its citizens.

No precedent for the President

Previous US Presidents have been honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize - including Theodore Roosevelt and Trump's predecessor Barack Obama - so the idea isn't that far-fetched. However, what may be unsettling for some liberals, especially Trump's opposition in the Democrats, is the less-than-peaceful impact he's had in his own country.

From forbidding transgender people from joining the US army to overturning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and signing a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries, Trump has made a number of hostile moves in his presidency.

With this in mind, it may be understandable why some are angered by calls for the US President to walk away with the Nobel Peace Prize.

But there are other matters for Trump to contend with, as well as checking his diary is free for awards ceremonies.

Although he may be keen to see peace in the Korean Peninsula, the US President has made the headlines recently for his role in bringing further instability to the Middle East. Trump has made various comments about his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear treaty, which is likely to trigger a complete collapse of the deal.

Will Trump destroy the Iran treaty?

Reports suggest that Trump has all-but-decided to walk away, but many are still hoping he will change his mind. The President's hard-line stance has been bolstered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been keen to present Iran as a major threat to the US long before the treaty was signed in 2015.

Former Secretary of State and one of the architects of the deal John Kerry tweeted in defence of the agreement after the latest remarks from Netanyahu.

However, the man currently in the role, Mike Pompeo, highlighted flaws in the deal and defended the President's attitude towards withdrawing from it.

Speaking from NATO headquarters, he said: "The President has been clear - absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal - he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May."

Congress will demand that Trump either signs a presidential waiver on sanctions on Iran or withdraws from the nuclear accord next week (May 12).

Market reaction

The landmark summit between North and South Korea caused an increase in Asia-Pacific equities but experts are warning about investors reading too much into the event.

JPMorgan Asset Management chief strategist Tai Hui told the Financial Times that its potential to benefit the markets "should not be overstated".

Making a comparison between now and 2017 when tensions were high in the Korean Peninsula but the Korean equity market remained one of the best-performing in the world, he said any impact would be short-lived.

He added that the summit was not "expected to provide a windfall of earnings improvement" and any "positive impact on sentiment" would likely be "limited and temporary".

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