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Nobel Peace Prize for Trump? Bookies say not that far-fetched

According to a leading London bookie, the Korea reconciliation initiative is currently the favourite for the prize in 2018, with Kim and Moon front-ending it. Trump is the next favourite.

world Updated: Apr 30, 2018 09:46 IST
Yashwant Raj
US President Donald Trump speaks in Michigan on April 28, 2018.
US President Donald Trump speaks in Michigan on April 28, 2018. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump tamps down expectations from the upcoming Korea talks but has claimed credit for making it possible. Supporters agree, and demanded a Nobel Peace Prize for him at a rally in Michigan on Saturday night.

“Nobel! Nobel!” they chanted, cutting off Trump’s typically freewheeling update on his efforts on Korea.

“Nobel,” an amused Trump said with a chuckle. He waited patiently for the chanting to end. “That’s very nice, thank you. That’s very nice. Nobel,” he said, and chuckled again. It wasn’t clear if he was chuckling because he found the idea ridiculous or because he thought it wasn’t a bad idea.

While the outcome of the Korean peace talks remains mired in decades of distrust, missed opportunities and suspicions involving all the great powers in the region and outside, there is new hope that started with a charm offensive from all sides at the Winter Olympics in February, and continues to surge with a meeting of the Koreas last week and Trump agreeing to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Calls have followed for the Nobel Peace Prize for Trump, Kim and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in. According to a leading London bookie, the Korea reconciliation initiative is currently the favourite for the prize in 2018, with Kim and Moon front-ending it. Trump is the next favourite.

If Trump does indeed land the Nobel, he will be the fifth US president to win it, following Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

It couldn’t be immediately ascertained if Trump, Kim and Moon — all three together or separately — were among the 329 candidates on the Nobel peace prize shortlist for 2018 — 216 are individuals and 113 are organizations.

Trump might have chuckled at the Nobel chants, but he does like to remind everyone that the thaw in relations have been because of his efforts. On Friday, he said at a White House event: “When I began, people were saying that was an impossibility… and now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible.”

Supporters like those at the Michigan rally agree. And so do a few lawmakers, some of whom are known to have been bitterly critical of him in the past.

“Donald Trump convinced North Korea and China he was serious about bringing about change,” Republican senator Lindsey Graham — once a staunch critic of Trump — tweeted. “We’re not there yet, but if this happens, President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Ian Bremmer, a leading expert on international relations who has been critical of Trump’s foreign policy, has weighed in on the president’s side as well. “Trump, Xi, Moon and Kim together get my vote for the Nobel Peace Prize,” he tweeted last week, with the preceding post saying he has been a Trump critic.