WHILE I am certainly not an admirer of American President Donald Trump the man, I do believe he is possibly serving a useful purpose in unexpected ways.

Mr. Trump’s bizarre and unconventional approach to dealing with North Korea has undeniably unnerved their Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, as it has the bordering nations of South Korea and China.

Whenever Kim launches his nuclear projectiles as tests, instead of causing alarm to Trump, he taunts him with names such as “Little Rocket Man”. This is certainly not the response Kim wants, making him realise that Trump is unlikely to flinch from further threats. Subsequently, Kim is having to re-think his strategy.

Concurrently, Trump is publicly putting pressure on the Chinese to withdraw their support for North Korea. South Korea, with their capital Seoul being only 35 miles from the North Korean border, is understandingly panic-stricken by all the antagonistic rhetoric. The same goes for Japan, as some of Kim's missiles have been too close for comfort.

Altogether, the tipping point has come. All parties, including North Korea, now recognise that it is in their best interests to earnestly attempt to bring this dispute to a peaceful ending, and permanently so.

With this sense of urgency, action has begun. North Korea might be sending participants to the Winter Olympics, ironically to be held in South Korea starting on February 9. Also, talks between the two Koreas are being discussed. Heightened sanctions against North Korea through the United Nations are putting further pressure on Kim. Undoubtedly China is working both sides of the dispute with America and North Korea. Positive momentum is gathering.

Thus, I would say there is finally a ray of hope that this long-standing conflict is beginning to move toward an amicable resolution, but working toward peace is arduous work as well as a process, so one should expect numerous difficulties and impediments to overcome. Perseverance and patience will be needed as there is a lot of distrust to overcome.

So, has President Trump’s dismissive behaviour toward Kim presented an opportunity that might not have otherwise come? Whatever the answer, if peace is eventually the result, that is all that really matters.

Think of the relief for the world that would bring, along with the unbridled joy for Koreans on both sides of the border, where some families have been divided for a long, long while.

Ira Fishman