At a surprise meeting between the DPRK leader, Kim Jong Un, and the ROK President Moon Jae In, Kim reportedly declared that he wasn’t afraid of disarming, he concern was about what the US might do if he does.
That’s not particularly surprising, given that Trump has backed America out of multiple multilateral agreements, showing that America makes promises today and breaks them tomorrow, most recently the nuclear accord over Iran’s enrichment program, the JCPOA, and his back and forth behaviour just over the concept of a simple meeting.
However, after Trump shocked the world by backing out of the June 12 summit with Kim in Singapore, Kim reacted by requesting the meeting from Trump, to which Trump says ‘we’ll see what happens’, but reportedly intends on keeping on track with the original schedule and preliminary preparations.
The South China Morning Post reports:
South Korea Pesident Moon Jae-in said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was committed to a summit with US President Donald Trump and complete denuclearisation.
“He also expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-US summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity,” Moon told reporters, adding both he and Kim agreed to meet or talk in person “if necessary”.
Moon on Sunday announced the outcome of Saturday’s surprise talks with Kim at the truce village of Panmunjom, which were held in an effort to ensure the landmark meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader goes ahead.
That two-hour meeting was the latest remarkable diplomatic chapter in a roller coaster of developments on the Korean peninsula.
Trump rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Kim which had been due to take place in Singapore on June 12, citing “open hostility” from Pyongyang.
But within 24 hours he reversed course saying it could still go ahead after productive talks were held with North Korean officials.
“I just want to mention we’re doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea. Looks like it’s going along very well,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
His remarks came almost simultaneously with the announcement by Moon about his meeting with the North Korean leader.
“We’re looking at June 12 in Singapore. That hasn’t changed,” he said.
“We can be successful in the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, that could be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for South Korea, it would be great for Japan, it would be great for the world, it would be great for the United States, it would be great for China.”
Meanwhile, a White House team will travel to Singapore as earlier planned to continue preparations for the on-again, off-again Trump-Kim meeting.
During his two hour meeting with Kim, Moon said he urged both Washington and Pyongyang “to remove misunderstandings through direct communication and to have sufficient dialogue in advance through working-level negotiations on the agendas to be agreed upon at the summit”.
“Chairman Kim agreed on that,” he added.
Moon said the Pyongyang regime reaffirmed its commitment to give up its nuclear weapons but had its own security concerns if it took that step.
“Kim stressed again that he had a firm determination towards complete denuclearisation,” the South Korean president added.
“The thing he was uncertain about was not denuclearisation but concerns on whether he could trust that the US would end its hostile policy and guarantee the security of his regime when the North denuclearises itself.”
Moon said he wished to hold a three-way summit with Trump and Kim should their upcoming bilateral summit succeed.
“Should the North Korea-US summit succeed, I would like to see efforts to formally end the (Korean) war through a three-way summit of the South, the North and the US,” he said.
On Saturday pictures showed Moon and Kim shaking hands and embracing on the North Korean side of the demilitarised zone separating the two nations.
The North’s state-run KCNA news agency said the two leaders agreed to “meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.
Specifically, Moon and Kim will hold “high-level talks” on Friday, the agency added.
Kim also “expressed his fixed will on the historic DPRK-US summit talks,” KCNA added, using the official abbreviation for North Korea.
Unlike last month’s summit, which was held in front of live TV cameras, Saturday’s meeting took place in utmost secrecy, with reporters only being told later that the face-to-face had taken place.
Footage released by the Blue House on Twitter, accompanied by a dramatic orchestral score, showed Moon arriving in a convoy of cars and first shaking hands with Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong, who has played a major public role in recent talks with the South, including leading a delegation across the border during February’s Winter Olympics.
Saturday’s talks were only the fourth time serving leaders of the two Koreas, who remain technically at war, have ever met.
Kim is making perfectly clear that he wants a peace deal to be made, and that he doesn’t mind giving up his nukes. He is interested in affirming the security of his nation in the event that it disarms. Trump has shown his fickleness, and has praised ‘the Libya model’.
America has a history of setting up and executing regime changes all over the world, and Kim doesn’t want to join the long list of nations that have experienced a color revolution or military invasion by US forces.
Kim wants to secure a three way meeting between Moon, Trump, and himself in an effort to secure the peace treaty, but other than that, when, how, or what parties will act as security guarantors in a possible nuclear disarmament are not immediately apparent.
Kim’s disarmament could also be lodged as a condition for a peace treaty with the South, which, without a security guarantee, could be hard to arrange. Given the nature of the events so far, as Trump is repeating ever so monotonously, ‘We’ll see what happens.’