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SD ANALYSIS US-North Korea Summit 2019
Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
10 Temmuz 2019 13:47

US-North Korea Summit 2019

The chessboard of international power politics has once again surprised the world by the recent visit of the US President Trump to North Korea, the so called prohibited peninsula. The rocket man as preannounced by the US president Trump the Mr. Kim Jong-un president of North Korea rocked the world one again while welcoming the US President Trump and gave a chance to greater regional harmony, peace and stability. It was an amazing event, during which both the leaders had exchanged historic handshakes at Panmunjom, a place that had been known as the symbol of division for so many years.

Many regional experts treated this meeting a “political theatre” which did not make substantial progress towards North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons. However, only time will tell because huge division is still there and very much visible and path to meaningful dialogue and sustainable development is a far cry.

In the past, negotiations over North Korea's controversial nuclear program have stalled since the second summit between the two countries/leaders ended without an agreement in February 2019. After their surprise talks now they have reaffirmed their claims to friendship and said talks would continue through their negotiating teams.

Surprised Visit US President

Surprised visit of the US president to North Korea has now been unfolded. In the recent past, the US President Trump visited South Korea following the G20 summit in Japan. He was scheduled to hold talks about the stalled North Korea nuclear negotiations with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and to visit the demilitarised zone (DMZ), the buffer area between the two Koreas since the end of the Korean War. While he was in Japan he tweeted a message to Mr Kim, suggesting he could "meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello. After a day of speculation and backroom diplomacy, Mr Trump and Mr Moon confirmed on that Mr Kim, the President of North Korea had accepted the invitation and there would be a "brief handshake".

Diplomacy and especially “track II negotiations” became vector which provided a chance of better mutual understanding and befitting propositions between the two countries. South Korean president played a vital “bridge” between the US and North Korea to overcome all misconceptions and misperceptions of the past.

Visit to DMZ

They arrived at the DMZ shortly after, and following a brief tour, they and Mr Kim approached the military demarcation line. Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place," a smiley Mr Kim told Mr Trump through an interpreter in an encounter broadcast live on international television. "Big moment," Mr Trump said, "tremendous progress." Non-verbal communication projected the friendly gestures from both sides wherein body language of both the leaders positive, contributory and productive.

Friendly Gesture

As a friendly gesture, Mr Kim personally invited the US President Trump to step over into North Korea, saying he would be the first US president to do so. The US president then spent a few minutes on the north side, later saying he was "proud to step over the line". Although, it was a brief stay on the soil of North Korea but it had great symbolic importance.

Giant Step

It was a giant step towards greater reconciliation, prosperity, trust and above all socio-economic liberalization from the both sides. Both sides have had been indulged into severe enmity, sanctions, and isolations but now doves of peace, prosperity and conflict resolution are flying high.

Looking relaxed, North Korean president Kim then crossed into South Korea alongside the US president Trump and said: "I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future." For a brief moment, both leaders were joined by South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, an unprecedented three way gathering. Both leaders agreed that negotiators would meet in the next weeks to resume discussions about North Korea's nuclear program. The US president Trump told reporters he was "not looking for speed but looking to get it right.

He further said sanctions on North Korea would remain in place, but appeared to leave open the possibility of easing them as part of the talks. He also said he had invited North Korean president Kim to visit Washington. North Korean president treated the historic meeting as its very personal good personal relations with President Trump.

US Political Win

It is true that the US President Trump scored a political win despite long odds of diplomatic success; Trump is the only US president who has been willing to take the risks necessary to try to lure North Korea out of darkness and away from its nuclear ambitions. It is indeed the height of the US president’s “non-conventional” diplomacy a new value-addition in the modern history of diplomacy and governance which has changed the norms of engagements and international standards of protocols.

It is hoped that this meeting might provide him with a retort to campaign-season critics who say the North Korean dictator has been playing the American president brilliantly by giving him the visuals he craves while holding back on real concessions".

 Journey of Conflict Resolution

 

 

Historic Meeting in Singapore

Negotiations with North Korea to try to convince it to abandon its controversial nuclear program reached a peak last year when US president Trump and North Korean president Kim had a historic meeting in Singapore. They both committed to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but without clarifying. It then was hoped their second meeting, in Hanoi in February, would bring some concrete agreement about North Korea handing over its nuclear program in exchange for some of the tight sanctions against it being lifted. But those talks ended with no deal, as they failed to agree on the pace at which sanctions should be eased.

 

Unexpected, Unprecedented, Unparalleled & Mysterious Meetings

The leaders of North Korea and the United States met in the small village for the first time. The bilateral meeting subsequently, turned into a trilateral mode, with the President of South Korea joining them for a short chat. The meeting was originally supposed to be a brief handshake, but it then evolved into a summit, with one-on-one talks lasting for 53 minutes. The events were so unexpected, unprecedented, unparalleled, and mysterious.

 

Symbolic Meeting

The meeting was symbolic because it marked the end of the old era of hostility between the two countries and the beginning of the new era of peace. The meeting was followed by a one-on-one dialogue for 53 minutes, turning the event from a “handshake meeting” to the third summit between Trump and Kim. The two leaders appear to have discussed important issues like denuclearization and agreed to revive negotiations between the two countries on hold for four months.

Salient Features/Fixtures

 Historical crossing by President Trump over the demarcation line with Chairman Kim. President Trump made about 20 steps into North Korean territory the first time an US President had done such a thing. The move also had a wider significance, representing the totally new relationship between the North and the U.S.
President Trump proposed the summit, but not through an official channel. He instead used Twitter, saying that he would meet Chairman Kim during his visit to the DMZ if the North Korean leader was open to it. It was the first time such a serious meeting between national leaders had been initiated through SNS communication. The meeting was expanded when South Korean President Moon Jae-in joined and chatted with them, before and after the bilateral dialogue. Those three leaders are the commanders-in-chief of three nations that are technically still at war.
Trump was also the first U.S. President to visit Panmunjom, while the other former presidents had only visited military posts. That visit was only possible because of the improved security situation in the area, thanks in large part to the two Koreas’ military agreement in September last year. 
Value of Freedom House

It is important to note that the venue of the historic summit in Panmunjom was the Freedom House, on the South Korean side of the DMZ. The flags, tables, and other facilities for the summit were all provided by the South. All sorts of logistical issues would have been present when the North Korean leader came south, including legal problems, security concerns, and political tension between the North and the South.

The fact that Chairman Kim accepted the Freedom House as the venue for the meeting underscores that President Moon would have been deeply involved in organizing the summit. The idea of a meeting in Panmunjom was raised and discussed in Seoul many weeks before it actually took place.

In February last year, the idea of a summit with the U.S. President had likely never occurred to the North Koreans. Instead, Chairman Kim proposed a summit with President Moon. However, Moon instead recommended Kim hold talks with the U.S. After Kim accepted the proposal, Moon sent his envoys to Washington DC to propose a summit with Chairman Kim. Trump accepted, and the two leaders met in Singapore just a few months later.

It was not an easy road, however. The summit was almost called off, as the North and the U.S. exchanged harsh words and preparations began to falter. President Moon then held a surprise summit with Chairman Kim at Panmunjom, clearing the troubles away and reigniting talks between Kim and Trump. In the aftermath of the Singapore summit, negotiations between the two sides faltered and faced another round of crisis.

President Moon then visited Pyongyang and persuaded Chairman Kim to make the bold decision to promise the dismantling of all the nuclear facilities in the Yongbyon complex. Chairman Kim agreed to the idea and proposed it to President Trump at the Hanoi summit. The proposal was rejected by the U.S.

UN Chief (2019)

The UN chief “welcomes the meetings in Panmunjom involving the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the United States “The Secretary-General fully supports the continued efforts of the parties to establish new relations towards sustainable peace, security and complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, according to the statement. 

Historical Perspectives

Nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea have proceeded in fits and starts for decades, with no sustaining success in halting the North’s atomic weapons program. In 2017, Pyongyang launched its sixth and largest nuclear test since it began its program in 2006, straining further US-North Korean relations during President Trump’s first year in office.

The following year, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim met in Singapore, signing a joint statement vowing to pursue peace and complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, albeit with few details. The two met again in February 2018, but disagreements over sanction and denuclearization collapse the summit early, yielding no agreement.

South Korea’s president called a recent U.S.-North Korean summit at the Korean border an end of mutual hostility between the countries, despite skepticism by many experts that it’s was a just made-for-TV moment that lacked any substance.

During their third summit at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Trump and Kim reaffirmed their friendships and agreed to resume nuclear talks. Trump’s brief stepping across the borderline into North Korea also made him the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in the North’s soil. But neither side has still indicated they are any closer to resolving sticking points that collapsed their previous summit. Most recently, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a Cabinet meeting that the summit in the DMZ meant the two countries declared “an end of hostile relations” and the “start of an era of peace.”

North Korea’s state media described Kim’s meeting with Trump as “an amazing event” and that both leaders expressed great satisfaction over the result of their talks. Moon’s government has also said it hopes the diplomatic momentum created by the latest Trump-Kim meeting would help revive inter-Korean dialogue.

U.S. and North Korean officials are expected to sit down for working-level talks in coming weeks to hammer out the terms of a mutually acceptable deal, but many experts say it remains unclear whether the negotiations would successfully address the fundamental differences between Washington and Pyongyang that were exposed in the second Kim-Trump summit in Vietnam in February.

Conclusion

The United States and North Korea have no diplomatic ties and are still at war because a truce that ended their 1950-53 Korean War has yet to be replaced with a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are still stationed in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

Both countries have been in some kind of working relations for the last two years. Subsequently, three summits have been held but no substantial outcome has been yet materialized. It is hoped that both leaders will come out of their notions of fears and confusions and will try their best to establish a sustainable relations for achieving greater regional peace and harmony. Probable spillover repercussions of the US and North Korea engagement would be fatal for at least Iran in the days to come.