Donald Trump’s Meeting with Kim Jong Un a Delightful Spectacle?
US President Donald Trump had earlier in the month announced his planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. The duo arrived in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi where the two will seek to finally bring to an end the long-lasting Cold War once and for all.
This meeting is the second of its kind in the history of both countries, the first of which was last year in Singapore. Before now, these two giant economies have had very little change in their stances on national issues. In terms of the denuclearization for peace deal, little has been done in that aspect, hence the second summit. Trump has expressed optimism in the prospect of having North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons.
There are expectations on the part of the North Korean leader for a seemingly positive outcome for what he almost certainly desires. Kim Jong Un is hopeful that he would secure an official declaration that will put the ongoing war between the United States and the Korean Countries to an end. Should that happen, the conflict will be reduced and the North Korean leader may have no need to push further the nuclear weapons testing, which his country has said were necessary for its survival in this generation.
The Director of Korea Studies at the Centre for the National Interest, Harry Kazianis told a media house, “I would argue history will be made in Hanoi, meaning a peace declaration is all but certain to be signed. Nothing could be more crucial for the long-term trajectory of U.S.-North Korea relations.”
“If America is going to have any hope in convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, Washington needs to find a way to convince Pyongyang that it is serious about forging a new relationship and that decades of tension can finally end,” he added. “There is only one way to do that: the signing of a peace declaration ending the Korean War once and for all,” he added.
After the fall out between Vietnam and North Korea, Kim Jong Un has become the first to visit Vietnam since his grandfather last visited over fifty years ago. In this visit, he is accompanied by his most trusted aides, including his sister. This move is lauded as one that none of his predecessor could do.
Donald Trump however is facing media criticism back in his home country, especially for falling short of his promise to secure the denuclearization he had promised.
Concerned individuals have called on Trump to take this second meeting seriously and stay on the “script”.
The Director of Non-proliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, Kelsey Davenport said, “It would a significant step forward if Trump and Kim committed to pursue a step-by-step approach that trades concrete, verifiable actions that roll back North Korea’s nuclear weapons program for limited sanctions relief and U.S. actions that contribute to peacebuilding in the region.”
There has been public declaration by the Trump administration of a possibility of having an end of war declaration. This is what Davenport referred to as “a meaningful first step in signalling to Kim that North Korea’s security concerns will be addressed as part of the negotiating process,” adding that “an end of war declaration would also demonstrate U.S. support for South Korea and the inter-Korean dialogue.”
The two Korean countries have started to fix their damaged ties. This is evident in the number of summits they have held – three in the last year alone. South Korea however has not waived some of the unilateral sanctions it has kept against North Korea since 2010.
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