After several ups and downs, the summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is taking place today. This will be the first time any leader from N Korea will be meeting with the US President face to face. The agenda for the Summit, hosted in Singapore today, 12th June, is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Here are the highlights of the pre-summit situation and of today’s meeting.
Kim proposes a meet
On 8th March 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, made a sudden announcement about his intention to meet US President Donald Trump regarding denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Trump accepts his proposal
Despite being skeptical of Kim’s intentions, President Trump accepted N. Korea’s appeal immediately and expressed his trust in the upcoming summit. The Republics widely announced Trump’s success with Kim and in bringing world peace by initiating talks with N. Korea.
The summit was uncertain
Last month, during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, Trump stated the uncertainty revolving the upcoming summit. Later, on 25th May, he canceled the summit owing to “anger and open hostility” from N. Korea. In a letter to Kim, Trump mentioned that “I was very much looking forward to being with you (in Singapore). Sadly, based on tremendous anger and open hostility displayed by in your recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate at this time, to have this, long-planned meeting. But if you change your mind having to do with this most important meeting, please do not hesitate to call me or write.”
On 26th May, however, the decision was reversed after a meeting between N. Korean officials and Trump. Kim Kye Gwan, a top ministry official said,” We would like to make this known that we are keen to solve the problems regardless of our disputes”.
The outcome of the meeting
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a document that Mr. Trump described as “important” and “comprehensive,” to conclude their meetings in Singapore. Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And in exchange, Trump agreed to provide security guarantees to North Korea. The components of the document are as follows;
- The United States and the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula.
- The United States and the DPRK commit to establishing new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
- Reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to working toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
- The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
After the meeting, Trump stated, “I think the summit went better than anybody could have expected and Kim and I will have a terrific relationship in the months to come.”
The summit is important for world peace
North Korea is an impoverished one-party, totalitarian state, born of the chaos of World War II that divided the Korean peninsula. Since the Korean War in the 1950s, both countries have been at a potential war stage with each other.
Moreover, N. Korea has been a pariah state for decades, because of its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is widely considered irresponsible in terms of nuclear weapons – as it keeps threatening the US and South Korea to use them. Its nuclear programme has always been very secretive, with little records of their drone capacity. Thus, if the government collapsed, there is a real fear that the nukes could fall into the wrong hands.
This all changed earlier this year when Donald Trump told Kim Jong-un that he’d love to chat about their nuclear capabilities. The move was considered as a big step towards thwarting World War III fears.