Donald Trump & Kim Jong Un

The Rough Diplomatic Road since the First Meeting of Trump and Kim


It has been a long time since the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stood face to face for the first time during their groundbreaking summit that was held in Singapore on 12th June 2018.

In 2019, the two leaders are again preparing for another round of face-off in Vietnam’s Hanoi. However, this time it is being hoped that the two leaders would need to reach out for a more definite pact.

Here is a dissection of what Trump and Kim have consented to, what has and hasn’t happened since the two leaders met, and what may be coming up on the negotiating table.

Things Happened

One saw a see-saw of public meetings and canceled visits between North Korean officials and America.

  • Although in July last year satellite images showed North Korea started to dismantle some facilities; however, later no progress could be seen.

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several trips to Pyongyang. Even his trip was chastised by North Korea for his gangster-like demands over North Korea’s complete, valid denuclearization

  • In a New Year speech, Kim stated that he is willing to meet Trump but cautioned of promising new path, which might mean a return of weapon development.

  • Trump in January announced that the second meeting would take place in Vietnam at the end of February.

Things Didn’t Happen

  • Since the Singapore summit, neither side took any step toward denuclearization or on allaying the sanctions or setting up a new peace regime for the peninsula. Washington objected to sign a peace declaration or alleviate the sanctions till North Korea takes step towards denuclearization.

  • North Korea continued to develop its nuclear missiles, in spite of a self-imposed suspension on testing. Probably the country won’t surrender its nuclear weapons.

  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that North is eager to “permanently dismantle” it’s Yongbyon main nuclear complex and allows the international inspector into some missile sites provided the United States makes a compromise.

What Can Happen In Vietnam

Officials of America and North Korea might have remained silent about what deal might emerge the second Trump-Kim meeting, but analyst’s state that Washington needs to remain open for taking provisional steps for any deal to be possible.

Stephen Biegun, the top U.S. envoy to North Korea, stated that the talks would be based on nominal issues. However, North Korea might urge for easing sanctions, reopening some inter-Korean economic projects, opening a U.S. liaison office in Pyongyang, and endorsing a declaration formally concluding the technical state of war from the 1950-53 conflict.

Some other actions including allaying the ban on Americans traveling to North Korea, or providing more bilateral aid might be taken.

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