Freed Americans Leave North Korea - What Does It Mean?

This is usually Jake's job, but he's busy exploring the world, so give me a chance to cover something that doesn't deal with the United States...be easy on me. 

The dominos just keep falling for President Donald Trump and I'm just sitting here like wait, what?

On Wednesday, three American prisoners freed by North Korea made their way home to the United States. President Trump made plans to personally welcome them home and celebrate this diplomatic breakthrough that few thought was possible.

Wait, what?

This move intrigues me for the fact that there is an upcoming, planned, summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Do Kim and North Korea actually want to talk? Are they serious now? This is by far the most significant gesture towards President Trump and the US since Trump has taken office. Shoot, it might be the most significant gesture shown towards the United States ever, considering the circumstances.

Even Trump himself was surprised that this actually happened.

Let's take a step back and talk about what this means. These three Americans were being held on "charges" of committing espionage or unidentified hostile acts against North Korea.

I put quotes around charges because no one really knows if these accusations were accurate or even real. This is just how Kim has run North Korea.

Maybe the news on Wednesday means we're making headway here. I really hope it does. However, I still can't get myself to celebrate just yet.

My hesitation comes from what this release actually means to me. To the average person and the person who reads the Trump headlines, this is the holy grail. He'll tell you for days that "the swamp" has been trying for far too long to get these prisoners back to the United States, but he is the only one who was successful. While he was successful, I'm still just not sold.

Let me remind you something President Trump, you weren't the only one to get Americans freedom from North Korea. President Barack Obama did the same thing in 2009 and 2014. But, that's beside the point.

Let me tell you what this actually means to me. To me this release goes both ways. Trump gets Americans back to where they belong, while Kim gets to breathe a sigh of relief from the intense pressure that he has been put under these past couple of months. This seems like a bargaining piece that Kim has used before. He now has just a little bit more time.

To do what? I hope something good.

Don't get me wrong, nothing compares to bringing Americans home to where they belong. But, I just hope that we still are able to sit back and see that this doesn't mean peace is right around the corner. I'm hopeful, but there is still so much to do. There are still so many conversations that need to happen and decisions that need to be made. 

I hate to be THAT person, but we need to take a deep breath, stop jumping to conclusions and keep watching from afar at what happens. Knowing our President, it should be pretty entertaining.

I will cautiously celebrate the arrival of these three Americans today. They deserve it.

-BT-