A historic moment marked the first face-to-face meeting between a United States president and a leader from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Trump-Kim summit in Singapore culminated in a joint agreement between the two leaders.
The summit comes close on the heels of a letter from Donald Trump to Kim Jong-Un that threatened cancellation of the meeting until the North Korean chairman showed a strong willingness to denuclearise.
The agreement signed by both leaders reaffirms DPRK’s commitment to a complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. It also lays the foundation for new US-DPRK relations aimed at promoting “peace and prosperity”.
Another issue discussed at the Trump-Kim summit involved remains of US prisoners of war and individuals declared missing in action during the Korean War. Trump claimed that Kim Jong-Un had agreed to start the process of returning these immediately.
Trump Explains US Position
Donald Trump said after the meeting that DPRK is already in the process of destroying one of its major missile engine testing sites. He declared that the US military would stop its “war games” with South Korea, referring to military drills with its long-time ally which are perceived as security threats by DPRK.
Trump also announced that he had put on hold plans to place 300 new sanctions on North Korea last week, and that existing sanctions would be removed once there is an assurance that nuclear weapons are “no longer a factor”. However, all these statements, made by the US president at a press conference, did not find mention in the agreement that was signed.
What This Means For The Future
China, who played third party at the Trump-Kim summit, expressed hope regarding a basic consensus between the two countries over denuclearisation.
Apprehensions surrounding the summit point to the agreement’s vague character and see it as a restatement of previous negotiations, yielding only symbolic value.
While it remains to be seen whether or not the Singapore meeting will translate to actual progress on the denuclearisation front, it undeniably marks the creation of new diplomatic ties between Washington and Pyongyang. Since 1953, after the two countries fought on opposite sides of the Korean War, relations between them have been fraught with tensions.
This development comes at a time when relations between DPRK and neighbour South Korea are also on the mend.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in welcomed the Singapore summit ahead of its occurrence and emphasised that Seoul would like to be involved in the negotiations that follow.