Tuesday 17 September 2019

Donald Trump nominated for Nobel Prize for 'tireless work to bring peace to our world'

U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Donald Trump has been formally nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the US President's efforts to solve the North Korean nuclear tensions.

A group of 18 of Mr Trump's biggest Republican supporters in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee urging it to consider Mr Trump for next year's award in recognition of "his tireless work to bring peace to our world."

Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are working out the details of a historic summit that could take place by the end of May or early June.

Yet an agreement by which the North would give up its nuclear weapons and allow for the world to confirm it still appears far off. The United States has reached aid-for-disarmament deals with North Korea before, but they've ultimately failed.

Recent comments from the leaders of the two Koreas have raised hopes.

But as remarkable as the imagery and symbolism have been recently, many analysts point out that it is too early to speculate on the outcome of ongoing negotiations with a regime that has been led with an iron fist by the Kim dynasty for nearly 70 years.

"It's surreal in the sense that it's clearly premature to be talking about giving anybody a Nobel Peace Prize," said Aaron David Miller, a former US diplomat and negotiator in several Democratic and Republican administrations.

But "if in fact the diplomacy goes the right way," the scenario is "conceivable," he told AFP.

The Nobel chatter also reflects an impassioned debate taking place over the exact role of America's president in the ongoing diplomatic overtures.

On both sides of the US political divide, the reasoning has bordered on the absurd, with one camp asserting that Mr Trump played no part in the ongoing detente on the Korean peninsula, while the other attributes it solely to his intervention.

In Washington's fevered political climate - in which "it's virtually impossible for one party to give credit to the other" - Mr Trump's personality and "inability to think about the 'we' rather than just the 'me'" is further reinforcing the antagonism, Mr Miller said.

"The aversion to giving him the Nobel on the Democratic side is caught up in the aversion to him."

The award of the prize to Mr Trump's Democratic predecessor, just a few months after he took office, had itself aroused surprise and strong reactions.

"I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage," Barack Obama said on December 10, 2009 in Oslo, as he acknowledged "the considerable controversy" surrounding the committee's decision at the dawn of his first term.


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