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President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio of Finland | July 16, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On July 16, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, Finland. Even before the summit, however, international mainstream media mostly adopted a negative attitude. In particular, U.S. media and politicians had mocked the meeting as a futile gesture.

In fact, the summit presents an important step in Trump’s efforts to curb global nuclear proliferation. Let’s look back to May 8, when Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Ira

n nuclear deal. The main reason for this was that Trump believed Iran was not holding up its end of the agreement in good faith. While it signed the treaty, Iran still preserved its nuclear production capabilities. In the face of opposition from U.S. allies, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, issued warnings to Tehran, and imposed heavy sanctions.

At that time, many believed that Trump’s move would dash the long-anticipated summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Suprisingly, the Trump-Kim meeting was successfully held in Singapore on June 12. Further, Kim stated his country’s committment and support to the aim of achieving denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In the wake of the Trump-Kim summit, there were a series of meetings between U.S. and North Korean officials.

Following the Trump-Kim meeting, Trump paid a visit to British Prime Minister Theresa May, promising at a subsequent press conference to discuss the issues of Syria, the Middle East and nuclear proliferation. “We discussed a range of shared priorities, including stopping nuclear proliferation,” Trump said. “The PM and I also discussed Iran and agreed Iran must never possess a nuclear weapon.”

At the press conference following the Helsinki summit, Trump said: ” A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world.” After his meeting with Putin, Trump said he believed the two countries would make significant progress on the issue of nuclear proliferation.

Nuclear proliferation was one of the key issues discussed at length during the summit. “I provided an update on my meeting last month with Chairman Kim on the denuclearization of North Korea,” Trump said at the press conference following his talks with Putin. “And after today, I am very sure that President Putin and Russia want very much to end that problem, going to work with us. And I appreciate that commitment.”

“We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe,” Trump said, dismissing allegations that his election was caused by Russian interference. ” It has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world.”

Trump’s determination to stop nuclear proliferation is demonstrated by his actions. He has taken strong measures against Iran and made headway with North Korea. Hopefully he will successful win Russia’s support in these efforts.

Editor: Jin Ye
Translator: Amy Hsu