The upcoming US-North Korean Summit brings a lot of worry onto the state of the US. Yet there is also a lot of hope that the summit can have great benefits for the American people. On Tuesday, June 12, President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, will meet in Singapore to begin what many are referring to as a “political dialogue”.
Trump and Kim have not always had the best relationship. Just last year Kim referred to Trump as a “dotard” meaning senile and weak. Trump also had his fair share of insults towards Kim, most notoriously calling him a “rocket man” during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Trump also tweeted about Kim, clueing that he is “short and fat”.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
Yet recently we have seen the two leaders view each other in a more positive light. Trump spoke confidently about meeting with Kim. “I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong Un wants to do something great for his people and he has that opportunity. He can take that nation, with those great people, and truly make it great. ” Trump stated.
It will be a one on one meeting, meaning no other countries will be involved, and the only other people present with the two will be translators. For years the US has held the foreign policy position that the US would only meet with North Korea if it were to be a 6-party talk, therefore including other countries. On the other hand, North Korea consistently stated they would only meet with the U.S. to negotiate if the meeting were to be one on one. The former US ambassador to Singapore shared his support for the meeting to bridge conflict between North Korea and the US; but he also mentioned this new reversal of America’s foreign policy position “This is a very good thing. I think that we as a nation have always believed in talking not just to our friends but to our adversaries. The issue is of course that North Korea’s states foreign policy goal for almost thirty years has been a one on one meeting with the United States President to elevate their stature.”
Both leaders are going into the summit to negotiate and discuss each nation’s goals. For the US, Trump’s main focus will be on nuclear warfare. He is pushing for a state of denuclearization in North Korea. This motive is more officially referred to as “complete, permanent and verifiable denuclearization” and is intended for North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile weapon program. Trump has also promised to speak with Kim about the Japanese Nationals that were abducted in North Korea in the 1970s-1980s and their need for release. As for now, it seems unlikely that Trump will raise the issue of human rights abuses Kim has committed on the people of his country.
Kim Jong Un also yearns to get a lot out of the summit as well. First off Kim hopes for the removal of US sanctions that were placed on North Korea, prohibiting them from trade and foreign investment with the rest of the world. North Korea remains to be one of the most isolated countries and these sanctions are one of the many reasons for this. Kim is also going in to the summit looking for the removal of about 30,000 troops from South Korea.
Many agree that Kim has received a great benefit from the summit before it even started, normalization. The fact that a US President is willing to have a meeting with Kim sets him on a world stage. Scott Snyder, from the Council of Foreign Relations, stated “This is essentially the normalization of Kim Jong Un and North Korea on the international stage. And of course that carries with it consequences and the challenge is really to make sure we are not normalizing North Korea as a Nuclear Weapon state.” North Korea is now being tolerated by a major power in international politics, the United States. Only time can tell what this will mean in terms of North Korea’s standing, or rather stature, in regards to different countries tolerance around the world.
Although Trump remains confident and hopeful about the summit, many political analysts, politicians, and citizens are not as convinced. After Trump’s outburst after the last G-7 summit, involving Canada, France, Germany and other major powers from around the world, many are reluctant about the implications it will have on the North Korean and U.S. Summit. Trump showed up late (during the portion about gender equality and women’s empowerment) and left early (avoiding discussing topics such as climate change and protecting the world’s oceans), showing the honest amount of respect he had for his fellow leaders and America’s allies. Trump also managed to tweet insults about the Canadian Prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and pulled out of the communique agreements completely.
PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Overall Trump was considered unsuccessful in regards to his attendance to the G7 summit. He did not accomplish much, rather he stirred conflict with major international leaders such as Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Germany’s Angela Merkel. He can not leave another agreement lacking negotiations and refusing to comply. Many argue that this puts a lot of pressure on Trump when negotiating with Kim Jong Un, and it might leave Trump at a great disadvantage. Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator on Trans-Atlantic relations, stated “It looks like the U.S. is no longer a reliable partner in international agreements, and that’s bad.” By no means can Trump afford another loss at an international summit, this may give him all the more reason to comply with Kim’s demands.
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