South Korean President Moon Jae-in said U.S. President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said on Monday, April 30.
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries, according to a presidential Blue House official who briefed media.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Moon made history on Thursday when they met on the dividing line between the two countries, agreeing to work on a peace deal and complete denuclearization of the North.
Leaders in South Korea and Japan have credited Trump for the progress. Moon gave Trump credit in January. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did the same earlier this month. South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told CNN the same shortly before Thursday’s meeting.
“Clearly, credit goes to President Trump,” Kang told CNN. “He’s been determined to come to grips with this from day one.”
Moon’s Nobel Prize comment came in response to a congratulatory message from Lee Hee-ho, the widow of late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, in which she said Moon deserved to win the prize in recognition of his efforts, the Blue House official said.
Moon responded by saying Trump should get it, echoing mounting calls from U.S. officials.
“It wouldn’t have happened without Trump. It may not happen, but it’s the biggest change since the end of the hostilities,” Rep. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.) told Fox News. “What happened? Donald Trump convinced North Korea and China he was serious about bringing about change.”
“We’re not there yet, but if this happens, President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” he added.
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called the peace agreement historic and also wondered if Trump should get the Nobel prize. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) has been advocating for Trump to receive the Nobel prize since March.
The progress with North Korea is even prompting some of Trump’s critics to admit that he deserves the prize.
“I’ve been critical of Trump foreign policy missteps in past year,” Ian Bremmer, a political scientist, wrote on Twitter. “But today’s historic North/South Korea breakthrough does not happen without priority & pressure from US President. Trump, Xi, Moon and Kim together get my vote for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
The Trump administration has led a global effort to impose ever stricter sanctions on North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Trump would maintain a “pressure campaign” of harsh sanctions on North Korea until Kim scraps his nuclear weapon program.
Late Saturday, Trump told Moon in a phone call that he was pleased the leaders of the two Koreas reaffirmed the goal of complete denuclearization during their summit, South Korean officials said on Sunday.
The White House said Trump and Moon had “emphasized that a peaceful and prosperous future for North Korea is contingent upon its complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.”
The bookies say Trump leads the odds race to win the peace prize, according to Ladbrokes. But Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., thinks his father’s chances are slim since Nobel prizes are overwhelmingly awarded to left-wing figures.
“Best short ever! Remember who decides this stuff. Noting [sic] to do with merit as we have all seen,” Trump Jr. wrote. “The globalist elite would never give him that win.”
Meanwhile, Trump is preparing for his summit with Kim, which he said would take place in the next three to four weeks.
Petr Svab and Reuters contributed to this report.
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