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North Korean Media Finally Break Silence On Trump-Kim Summit

11 June, 2018, 15:41 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Kim Jong Un delivers his New Years speech at an undisclosed place in North Korea Jan. 1 2018 in this

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has arrived in Singapore ahead of one of the most unusual and highly anticipated summits in recent world history, a sit-down on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump meant to settle a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal.

Trump took office having been warned by President Obama that North Korea would be his gravest challenge, and tensions boiled nearly immediately as Pyongyang began a barrage of missile tests during Trump's first months in office.

Kim's main concern is the survival of his own regime - South Korean President Moon Jae-in told reporters that the Pyongyang leader had "concerns on whether he could trust that the U.S. would end its hostile policy and guarantee the security of his regime when the North denuclearises itself".

Victor Cha, top North Korea expert in the George W. Bush administration who Trump considered for South Korea ambassador, said a worst-case scenario would be that Trump puts everything on the table, prompting Kim to either balk - leading to Trump giving up - or make a vague proclamation of denuclearizing - leading to Trump declaring victory.

The standard thinking goes that he needs quick help to stabilize and then rebuild an economy that has suffered amid a decades-long pursuit of nuclear bombs, and that the North Koreans see a unique chance to win concessions, legitimacy and protection from a meeting with a highly unconventional US president who's willing to consider options past American leaders would not. Why only potentially? That's because these two world leaders are not, strictly speaking, known to be very diplomatic - that is to say that they are in no manner of speaking, known to be very diplomatic at all. I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity.

"We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely", Trump said as he began the working lunch.

The U.S. president also dangled the prospect of inviting Kim to Washington if the meeting is a success.

North Korea has repeatedly expressed a commitment to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" - notably in a report by state agency KCNA on the eve of the summit - but the term is open to interpretation on both sides and it remains unclear what concessions Kim is prepared to offer. However, it can not be the only topic of discussion between Trump and Kim.

So the summit was almost derailed by talk from Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton of a "Libya model" of disarmament. "Anyone involved in rallies would be arrested", said Choi Kang, vice president of Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies. "Thanks to your honest efforts. we were able to complete the preparation for the historic summit". "Irregardless of where anyone is on the political spectrum, you got to get something for that photo".

"This would bring us a step closer to reunification", she said.

Dynastic descent from Kim Il Sung is the basis for Kim's personal legitimacy - Pyongyang's propaganda promotes the similarities between them in looks, mannerisms and even handwriting.

At stake at the summit are North Korea's nuclear weapons and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Suzanne DiMaggio, director and senior fellow at New America, said a statement on denuclearization is the best that can be hoped for at this point.

"I'm very confident the relationships between our countries, the United States and those G-7 countries, will continue to move forward on a strong basis", Pompeo said.



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