Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un: What the future holds for the world

NEW YORK, U.S. - If there's one thing in common between Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong un - it is there strongman style and volatile nature. All these men ...


• Trump's election could lead to shift in U.S. policy on North Korea

• North Korean government hasn’t told its people that Trump won: Report

• Duterte, Trump can be 'best friends,' U.S congressman says

NEW YORK, U.S. - If there's one thing in common between Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong un - it is there strongman style and volatile nature.

All these men share similar traits - they are bold, unpredictable, shrewd and share almost similar principles.

Known for their blunt, brusque and fiercely macho leadership, they are the leaders who will shape the world of tomorrow; one can only wait and watch to see how the future unfolds…

Trump inconsistent on North Korea

Trump's comments during the presidential race have been inconsistent, rendering it difficult to predict the new administration's approach toward North Korea.

However, his natural instinct as a negotiator could potentially lead to him to reach out to the isolated nation diplomatically.

Although the president-elect has referred to Kim Jong Un as a “maniac” in the past, he also suggested the possibility of dialogue with him without pre-conditions unlike outgoing President Barack Obama who shunned talks with North Korea in the absence of concrete steps to disarm.

Several times on the campaign trail, Trump suggested he would handle North Korea differently from the way Obama has done over the past eight years.

In June, the businessman-turned-president-elect made headlines by saying he would hold a summit with North Korea's reckless leader "over hamburgers."

“I’ll speak to anybody. Who knows?” Trump also said at a campaign event in Atlanta, Georgia. “There’s a 10 percent or a 20 percent chance that I can talk him out of those damn nukes because who the hell wants him to have nukes? And there’s a chance — I’m only gonna make a good deal for us.”

An inevitable obstacle to U.S.-North Korea negotiations will, however, be the persistent stance of the North on the denuclearisation issue no matter what the Trump administration may offer.

Meanwhile, North Korean state media initially praised Trump during his presidential campaign, but following his victory a senior official expressed indifference about the incoming president.

But despite the seeming indifference on the part of the North, a meeting between Donald Trump and Pyongyang's despot Kim Jong Un may happen soon, according to a North Korea expert.

"It is because Trump may wish to show the world that he is in charge of creating new policy initiatives and meeting with Kim is a low-hanging fruit that is definitely attractive," Dr. Han Park, director and professor emeritus of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia, said.

So far, Washington’s efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons, including slapping the regime with increasingly tough sanctions, have failed. 

Despite Obama pledging to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons upon entering office in 2008, he has seen all but one of North Korea’s five nuclear tests happen on his watch. 

Pyongyang’s most recent detonation, in September, was judged by experts to have been its most powerful one yet.

With Trump as a politician having a completely blank slate when it comes to foreign policy, his next move to deal with the North Korean dictator is impossible to predict.

Interestingly, according to an Independent report, North Korea’s state-run media still hasn’t broken the news to the nation that Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency last week, a BBC News employee tasked with monitoring state media reports from around the world said on his Twitter account. 

North Korea’s literal radio silence on the news may be particularly puzzling as back in June an editorial by state-run media suggested a Trump presidency would be welcomed.

It would also be interesting to see how America’s allies in the region - including Japan and South Korea view this meeting and what then, would it mean for them and their ties with an America led by Trump.

On the other hand, ties between North Korea and Russia seems to be better than ever before with North Korean media recently highlighting the "deepened" relationship between the two countries. 

A statement released on North Korea’s national media said, “The two countries have strengthened the bonds of friendship, closely cooperating with each other in the political, economic, cultural and various other fields on the principle of independence, equality and mutual benefit.”

Further Pyonyang’s state news agency had earlier reported that the North Korean dictator had earlier sent a friendly message to Putin, expressing his desire for greater relations between the two countries on the North's 71st anniversary of the allied defeat of Japan in Korea during the closing months of World War II. 

Kim Jong Un reportedly wrote, “I express belief that the relations of friendship and cooperation between the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and Russia forged in the hard struggle against the common enemy would invariably develop in line with the aspiration and desire of the peoples of the two countries.”

Putin had then sent a congratulatory message to Kim to mark the "occasion of Liberation Day," but it was unconfirmed whether the message was sent in response to Kim's missive.

During the Soviet era, Moscow-backed the North Korean regime. Since then the relationship declined, but Putin now seems to be keen on getting the relationship back on track. 

At a business forum in Russia's Pacific port of Vladivostok attended by South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Putin had said Moscow favored bringing North Korea back to international negotiations over its nuclear program.

Duterte is "Trump of the East"

According to one U.S. Congressman, a Trump leadership "can be good" for the Philippines because the two presidents' temperaments are alike.

“I think because of the personality similarities between President Trump and President Duterte — among others their penchant for politically incorrect i.e. sexist jokes — they could actually end up being best friends,” Harry Roque said on ANC’s “Future Perfect.”

Already, political pundits have predicted that the world’s two newest leaders would instantly hit it off, even as the comparisons end where their respective backgrounds begin, analysts say.

Duterte is often called the "Trump of the East" and in a recent trip to Malaysia, appeared to relish the comparison. 

“I would like to congratulate President Trump. Mabuhay ka! (Long live),” Duterte said. 

“We both love to curse. One little thing, we curse right away. We’re the same.”

Duterte also believed he would get along with Donald Trump as the U.S. president-elect "has not meddled in human rights" issues, and he trusted Trump's judgment to deal fairly with the undocumented workers he plans to kick out.

The run-in between Duterte and Obama over the former's war on drugs has led to a diplomatic falling-out that has driven Duterte into the arms of China and, possibly, Russia. 

Trump will now inherit this firebrand Philippines president. 

How he approaches him and his government will depend on where the Philippines falls in his hierarchy of priorities, especially in regard to its geopolitical importance in parts where a world power like China covets sway.

Duterte is also expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leader’s meeting in Peru next week.

Duterte has been praising Putin in his speeches and has called the Russian leader his “favorite hero.”

He said he admired Putin for his toughness and has also joked in the past that he and Putin seem to have a shared passion for guns and women.

Trump-Putin bonhomie continues

Following the election victory, Putin congratulated Trump on the phone. 

The two leaders discussed issues including shared threats, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship.

The two men also spoke about working to normalize relations between the two countries and emphasised the importance of creating a foundation of bilateral ties through trade, the Kremlin said.

Trump has praised Putin on several occasions, calling him a strong leader even as U.S. officials accused Moscow of meddling in the election by leaking hacked Democratic campaign emails to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

 

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