The United States government has issued a coin that will commemorate the summit between the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. The summit has not yet happened. However, the coin has brought a more troubling illusion of the relationship between Washington and Pyongyang. In history, the US armed forces has issued the so-called challenge coins to celebrate or commemorate specific accomplishments or events. The coins usually are disks made from metal that are roughly the size of a poker chip. The military tradition of coins started as a way of rewarding troops for specific impressive accomplishments and feats.
The tradition has now become very popular and spread to the civilian parts of the United States government. The coins have in the past been issued on a regular basis by the White House Communications Agency. The agency is a military detachment with members from all the four branches of the US armed forces that work directly with the White House. The agency has been issuing the coins when the US president travels abroad. So while it is nothing new for the military to mint a coin with the face of their commander in chief on it, the latest coin is weird. The design is the most significant part of the problem. A US military coin with Kim Jong Un’s face on it does not feel right at all for the average American.
The coin even goes ahead to call him the Supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The repressive regime is currently holding over 120,000 of its citizens in vicious labour camps. The camps were constructed by previous regimes to hold and punish political prisoners who hold a different view of the regime that is in power at the time. The coin also shows the two leaders looking each other eye-to-eye in a manner that suggests that Kim and trump are on an equal footing. The coin depicts the exact status that the repressive regime in Pyongyang that has killed and starved thousands of its citizens wants to achieve in the forthcoming summit.
However, the pressing question about the summit is that the planned summit between the two leaders has not yet taken place. US President Trump is already in a celebration mood saying that the summit will represent a significant foreign policy accomplishment for Washington and his presidency. This makes it even harder for the president to walk away from the summit.