Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Trump and Kim meet after months of threats and insults

Who gained and who lost what from the Trump Kim summit Trump-Kim summit vindicates Cold War doctrine of deterrence
Ellis Copeland | 13 June, 2018, 08:08

Heading into Tuesday's summit, the big competing items on the table came down to what by now are popular acronyms, with the USA seeking the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, or CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation), and the North Korean leadership rejecting unilateral nuclear disarmament while seeking its survival, or CVIG (complete, verifiable, irreversible guarantee of North Korea's security).

WITH US President Donald Trump setting the course for normalising ties with North Korea and even saying that war games with South Korea would end, China appeared to be a beneficiary from Tuesday's summit, while Japan welcomed the outcome.

The account Wednesday in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper could signal the first rift with President Trump over the perceived path forward with the North's leader, Kim Jong Un.

The document reads: "President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and honest exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula".

A man watches a TV screen showing file footage of US President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

That's generally how foreign affairs experts reacted to the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"Unfortunately, we do not know if Kim has made a strategic decision to denuclearise and it is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearisation", said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow at Washington's Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank.

Other pages showed USA and North Korean officials having their extended meeting, a working lunch and later, Trump and Kim signing a joint agreement that marked the end to the summit.

Trump said after the summit that the United States would no longer conduct its joint war games with the South Korean military, but many experts feel this would be a bad concession.

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Both Trump and Kim arrived on Sunday to Singapore, chosen as the site of the summit for its reputation as a safe and orderly place and the fact that is has diplomatic relations with both North Korea and the US.

The sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted until progress toward denuclearization is verified.

"In coordination with our ROK (South Korean) partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance from the Department of Defense (DoD) and/or Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)", it added. "This is a win for North Korea, which seems to have yielded nothing".

It may not have been the focus of the summit, but Korean War vets and their families were hoping the issue would come up.

Still, it's too early for Trump to declare the summit a victory.

The analyst, Moon, advised the North's report should be confirmed from the US side, while another expert agreed the North Korean state media should be taken with a grain of salt.

The US stations around 30,000 troops in security ally South Korea to protect it from its neighbor, which invaded in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the peninsula by force.

Only hours before the summit, Mattis told Pentagon reporters that, as far as he knew, the issue of U.S. troops in South Korea would not be part of any discussion in Singapore.

In Wednesday's KCNA report, Kim Jong Un said that if the USA side took "genuine measures for building trust", North Korea would continue to take "additional good-will measures of next stage commensurate with them".

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