2nd Trump, Kim Summit: Failure of Optimism

The complex relationship between the US and North Korea has once again led to confusion, uncertainty about the regional progress and stability because the second summit between presidents of both the countries in Hanoi failed to produce good results as the summit ended without any agreement due to wide ranging demands of either side from other but neither side was ready to give up slightest possible portion of stance in the talks.

The political and diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States have been historically hostile, developing primarily during the Korean War. In recent years relations have been largely defined by North Korea’s nuclear program; six tests of nuclear weapons, its development of long-range missiles capable of striking targets thousands of miles away, and its ongoing threats to strike the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons and conventional forces. During his presidency, George W Bush referred to North Korea as part of the Axis of Evil because of the threat of its nuclear capabilities.

Recently, North Korea and the United States of America have started some formal diplomacy after the Trump-Kim Summit. Sweden as the protecting power of United States interests in North Korea for consular matters. Since the Korean War, the United States has maintained a strong military presence in South Korea. However, the United States has considered, de jure, South Korea as the sole legitimate representative of all of Korea. Support among the American public for US forces to defend South Korea has increased steadily. While it was at a mere 26% in 1990, it has now nearly tripled to 62%. A majority of the American public also have a positive view of Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President as of 2017.

In 2015, according to an annual World Affairs survey, only 9% of Americans have a favorable view of North Korea, while 87% of Americans have a negative view. According to a 2014 another poll, only 4% of Americans view North Korea’s influence positively with 90% expressing a negative view, one of the most negative perceptions of North Korea in the world.

2017 marked a significant rise of tension as amplified rhetoric from both the sides as Donald TRUMP took the presidency, after it appeared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was developing at a faster rate than previously thought. The increasing rhetoric (as well as Trump’s more aggressive approach to handling North Korea), missile testing and increasing military presence on the Korean Peninsula sparked speculation of a nuclear conflict.

Despite fears of a massive conflict, a dentente began to develop when on March 8, 2018, the White House confirmed that Trump would accept a meeting invitation from Kim Jong-un. At the time, they were supposed to meet in May. On May 15, 2018, North Korea cut off talks with South Korea and threatened to cancel the planned US North Korea Summit, citing military exercises between the United States and South Korea. This cancellation was quickly reversed when Trump received an uncharacteristically friendly reply from Kim. On June 12, 2018, Trump and Kim met at the summit in Singapore, in the first summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries.

In a document signed with great fanfare by Trump and Kim in Singapore, Kim committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump gushed that the pair developed chemistry quickly and that the two sides were much further along than I would have thought. The US has agreed to stop joint military exercises with South Korea for the foreseeable future but it was not immediately clear that its ally was aware that such an announcement would be made. Seoul reacted with a mixture of optimism and confusion to the historic summit between Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, after the US president announced an end to joint military exercises with South Korea.

Leaders from around the region sought to capitalise on the momentum of the meeting, which resulted in a signed agreement that was light on substance but held up by Trump as a victory. The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, welcomed the outcome of the summit and praised the courage and determination of the two leaders. A statement from South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the Trump-Kim summit was a huge step forward that opened a new era of peace and co-operation. But Seoul’s presidential office said that it was trying to discern the exact meaning and intent of Trump’s comments.

Reaction to the unprecedented summit around the world was swift and run the gamut.China, in fact, quickly reacted to the talks by suggesting that the UN Security Council consider suspending or lifting sanctions against North Korea if the country is in compliance with UN resolutions and making progress in diplomatic negotiations. China, North Korea’s main ally, accounts for more than 90 per cent of the isolated country’s trade, and China’s participation is widely seen as crucial for international sanctions to have any bite.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reacted positively and welcomed Kim’s written commitment to complete denuclearization. Abe, who spoke to Trump by phone after the proceedings, said he thanked the president for bringing up the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, many of whom were used as spies for the regime.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who bore the brunt of a Trump tirade on social media on trade after the G7 summit, as well as attacks from the president’s surrogates on US political talk shows, responded briefly Tuesday to a question in Ottawa about the summit. Obviously we support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea, said Trudeau. We look forward to looking at the details of the agreement.
Now both the leaders met for the second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ahead of summit the US President Donald Trump predicted good relations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their summit, with the White House saying the main goal of the talks was the denuclearization of North Korea. We see eye to eye, I believe, but you’ll be seeing it more and more over the next couple of days, Trump said. We’re going to have, I think, a very interesting two and a half days in Vietnam, he told a group of state governors at a White House ball. And we have a chance for the total denuclearization of an area of the world that was very dangerous. The two leaders met last June, after which Trump declared, there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea. But as he meets Wednesday and Thursday with Kim in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, there was little concrete evidence that progress has been made to set the specific terms of North Korea’s promised denuclearization.

In the early months of his presidency, Trump said he would unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen on North Korea for its threats against the U.S. and its allies. Trump tweeted, Great relationship with Chairman Kim! President Xi of China has been very helpful in his support of my meeting with Kim Jong Un. The last thing China wants are large scale nuclear weapons right next door. Sanctions placed on the border by China and Russia have been very helpful. Great relationship with Chairman Kim! Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping has been very helpful in his support of my meeting with Kim Jong Un. The last thing China wants are large scale nuclear weapons right next door. Sanctions placed on the border by China and Russia have been very helpful.

The highly anticipated second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un ended without an agreement between the two leaders, raising doubts on the direction of future talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme. However, earlier in the day, both Trump and Kim expressed optimism for their discussions about North Korea’s nuclear program.Trump said he thinks the relationship between the two nations is better than it has ever been. It is little wonder these negotiations broke down after Trump has spent more time in office blowing up nuclear treaties than building them,” says Akira Kawasaki of the international steering group of ICAN, which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. We need a real plan rooted in the international community and treaties like the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which the Koreas could join tomorrow and begin the disarmament process with legitimacy
The US President Donald Trump said his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended with no agreement because of a divide over the lifting of US sanctions. Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that, Trump told reporters at a closing news conference. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all the sanctions for that. He said they discussed dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear complex and that Kim promised him North Korea would not conduct tests of rockets, missiles or anything nuclear. Trump described the Hanoi talks as productive and said he thinks the two sides will eventually reach an agreement about denuclearization of North Korea, with time. But he said a third summit has not yet been set. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped talks between the two countries would resume soon.

Trump and Kim had very good and constructive meetings in Hanoi, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. The two leaders discussed various ways to advance denuclearisation and economic-driven concepts. No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future. Earlier, the White House suddenly announced that the summit between Trump and Kim would be cut short by two hours. The two leaders, who began their talks at 10am Singapore time, were supposed to end discussions by 1pm for a working lunch.

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About Erum Akbar 17 Articles
The author is Executive Editor of Mélange int’l Magazine and Secretary Information at Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR).