by Graham Pierrepoint
Will the U.S. and North Korea meet in the middle when it comes to the definition of ‘denuclearization’?
It’s captured most of the early headlines this week as it’s a meeting that many believed would never happen – and, for the most part, it’s seemed fairly positive. After weeks of speculation and following on from initial back-and-forth rhetoric shared between the pair that was seemingly less than positive, US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim-Jong Un have met in Singapore face-to-face for the first time to discuss a variety of matters – among them, some fairly sizeable global concerns with plenty of impact for millions of people.
The main takeaway from the meeting – apart from that it was overwhelmingly pleasant and outright positive – is that there appears to have been a concession made on either side of the table – something which many may not have believed would have occurred this time last year – or even six months ago. Mr Kim has signed a statement to suggest that denuclearization of North Korea is on the cards – though, as some media outlets discuss, this is not a new statement as far as North Korea is concerned – and testing and development has continued. However, given Kim’s recent show of diplomacy with the likes of South Korea and China, could this be a step towards peace?
Trump, meanwhile, has shown equal concession, at least in terms of the short-term. The President has, in line with Kim’s apparent change of heart on the nuclear front, agreed to suspend military movements and exercises alongside South Korea. This is a fairly big deal – as the US had made sure to maintain such exercises in the country in an effort to help deter potential movements from North Korea. Trump has advised that Kim has also agreed to the ‘closing up’ of a missile testing site – and, on the whole, the President feels very positive about the meeting, assuring that he knows a good deal has taken place. “I know when somebody wants to deal and I know when someone doesn’t,” he advised.
▶ A look at the North Korea, U.S. summit
The US’ move to cancel military exercises on South Korea is nothing short of ground-breaking – this is something which Pyongyang has pursued for considerable years – though the question remains whether or not the US and North Korea meet in the middle when it comes to the definition of ‘denuclearization’ – as Pyongyang has long since defined this process as a long-term goal. In any case – history was made!