News Analysis |
President of the United States of America Donald Trump has announced that the summit he initially declared a dead end just a week ago, is back on track. In a formal diplomatic discourse, White House had issued a letter on behalf of POTUS to Kim Jong Un last week informing him about the decision taken, what the letter said, “in the best interest” of both the countries. The reason cited for the termination of the historic one-to-one meeting between two powerful head of states was the hostility which North Korea had shown after the US and South Korea embarked joint air force exercises.
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However, as soon as U.S. backtracked from the scheduled Singapore Summit, which was supposed to be held on June 12, there was an instantaneous yet unannounced meeting of head of states of both Koreas in the demilitarized zone.
While it may apparently seem desperate on part of North Korea but it definitely depicts the willingness of Kim Jong Un, who wants to drive his country toward economic progress now.
The objective of this meet up was to increase the efforts to put the talks back on track. While it may apparently seem desperate on part of North Korea but it definitely depicts the willingness of Kim Jong Un, who wants to drive his country toward economic progress now. The key role played here, in the apparent resuming and a higher probability of the summit actually happening, is by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been the driving force behind the back channel diplomacy which led to the history in making.
.@POTUS @realDonaldTrump is presented with a letter from North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, Friday, June 1, 2018, by North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol in the Oval Office at the @WhiteHouse in Washington, D.C., followed by a meeting. (Official @WhiteHouse Photos by Shealah Craighead) pic.twitter.com/6a1PgFXS3v
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) June 1, 2018
The US president now says he still hopes to meet Kim in Singapore on June 12 and pressure him to give up his nuclear weapons, although he conceded on Thursday that might require more rounds of direct negotiations. “I’d like to see it done in one meeting,” Trump told Reuters. “But often times that’s not the way deals work. There’s a very good chance that it won’t be done in one meeting or two meetings or three meetings. But it’ll get done at some point.”
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Kim Jong Un sent a letter to the United States President via his ex-intelligence chief and nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-Chol, who became the first North Korean official to set foot in White House since 2000 and met the president. There has been only one instance before where another North Korean official, Jo Myong Rok vice chairman of North Korea’s National Defense Commission, delivered another personal letter from, then, North Korean Leader, Kim Jon II to Bill Clinton. The meeting did result in an agreement which was later abandoned by the Bush Administration deeming North Koreans as “untrustworthy”.
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Given the twist and turns the meeting has already gone under, the anticipations of the outcome might just be disappointing. Pre-summit gestures and discourse from both sides has not been very encouraging. The leaders of both the countries are known for their instinctive demeanor with practically no experience of diplomacy. While Trump is persistent that he will be able to make Kim give up the nuclear weapons he possesses, it could not be as simple, especially after what he did to the Iran nuclear deal. Kim Jong Un now aims at the long-term prospects of economic development especially when he has built the bomb which, according to him, will make sure that the generations to come of the North Korean will live with dignity and under the umbrella of nuclear security.
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Kim has rejected the previous US calls for North Korea’s unilateral nuclear disarmament and argued instead for a “phased” approach to the denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula. That in the past has also meant the removal of the US nuclear umbrella protecting South Korea and Japan. In Pyongyang, Kim said his will to see denuclearization on the peninsula remained “unchanged, consistent and fixed” and hoped improved North Korea-US relations would be solved on a “stage-by-stage” basis.
While Trump is persistent that he will be able to make Kim give up the nuclear weapons he possesses, it could not be as simple, especially after what he did to the Iran nuclear deal.
It is imperative that one-sided demands without offering any counter incentive will not work. North must be looking for an acquittal of US forces from South Korea which seems to be a long shot, but so does denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.