On September 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain gave a speech to the British people declaring he had achieved "peace for our time." How had he achieved this peace? He had negotiated, appeased and caved to the demands of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis at the Munich Conference. His words would become infamous as Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland less than a year later on September 1st, 1939. This invasion finally woke up the British to the threat of Hitler and his tyrannical goals. They soon declared war on Germany, plunging into World War II. The cost of appeasement was the lives of twenty million soldiers and forty million civilians (including six million Jews).
One man led the fight against the policy of appeasement. He was, of course, Winston Churchill. He was the most vocal and outspoken critic of British policies from 1932 through 1939 when he was in what was known as his "political exile." People did not wish to hear his warnings, so they simply ignored him and labeled him as a war monger and crotchety extremist. Churchill was vindicated in his distrust of Hitler by the Nazi attempt at global domination. This was not because of some extraordinary foresight, but because he recognized the simple fact dictators cannot and should not be trusted.
It was recently announced U.S. President Donald Trump would be meeting with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un to supposedly negotiate the ending of North Korea's nuclear program. President Trump must be extremely careful to not, in a wish to be popular, concede to Kim Jong Un's requests. President Trump must make clear he will not budge an inch and will be willing to back up his words with force. So far into his presidency, President Trump has not followed a policy of appeasement toward North Korea, but instead a policy of grim determination. Many have criticized it as being overly dramatic and warlike. However, if Trump wishes to avoid a Chamberlain moment, he must continue his tough stance on North Korea. Dictators love weak leaders who are afraid to speak out strongly and who love their popularity more than their convictions. President Trump must stay the course and not be swayed by those trying to soften his North Korean rhetoric.
Why should Kim Jong Un not be trusted? Well, Kim Jong Un dines on fine foods and expensive drinks while starvation rages throughout his country. North Korea also has many concentration camps full of political dissenters and others whom the regime sees as a threat to their power. Kim Jong Un has not only executed and assassinated many citizens, but he does so in a brutal way. Sometimes he simply uses a firing squad, and he has been known to execute individuals with anti-aircraft guns. In terms of religious freedoms, North Korea is awful. According to the 2018 Open Doors report on worldwide Christian persecution, North Korea is the worst country in which to be a Christian as they are especially singled out for persecution and execution.
If the U.S. thinks it can create peace by meeting with Kim Jong Un and relying on his promises, it is sorely mistaken and has already forgotten the lesson of Chamberlain. As usual, Winston Churchill said it best when he said, "An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile in the hope that it will eat him last." While America crumbles into the polarization of moral relativism and identity politics, Christians and others in North Koreans suffer under an evil regime that must be confronted not with words, but force. They have been enslaved for sixty five years. Enough is enough.