U.S President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s historic summit at Singapore last week has been one of the greatest diplomatic events in the recent years. The stakes have been incredibly high with the two leaders constantly describing their countries to be on the brink of a nuclear war just by a pus of their “buttons”. This summit proved to be one of the high points of Donald Trump’s Presidency with him trying to negotiate with a country that has vexed the United States for nearly 70 years.
The United States wants North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program which includes destroying reactors and buildings, give away documents with designs and calculations, and hand off missiles that can carry nuclear bombs to America. However, this ambitious idea has some inherent problems. North Korea sees its nuclear weapons as a deterrent against foreign invasion, particularly by the US, and therefore has no impetus to curb its nuclear program.
Even after the summit, it seems unlikely that Kim would be likely to hand over his nuclear materials. However, this summit can prove to be a step to gauge the seriousness of Kim towards denuclearisation of his country. However, a summit is not a guarantee of success. There are certain possibilities that might be taken into consideration after the conclusion of this summit.
This summit might be a propaganda win for Kim that damages the US position.
With the sanctions put against North Korea, there is a possibility that after this peaceful gesture from Kim, some countries such as China and Russia might push for a relaxation of pressure on North Korea.
This meeting may not have been a final call towards peace. With Trump promising to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea and Kim vowing to ““surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”, both leaders could lead their countries to a belligerent situation if either of them later feels that this summit was a failure.
Keeping the mercurial nature of the leaders and their diplomacy in mind, there is also the possibility that if either of them acts out on their belief, that this summit was a failure, then it would lead to a conviction in their heads that diplomacy is futile and would resort to aggression as a method to achieve their ends.
For now this summit seems to be a step in the right direction with US pulling out some forces from South Korea and reducing their military exercises and a thaw in North-South relations in the Korean Peninsula, but nowhere does this mean that we might not have any further surprises down the line.
This write-up was submitted by Shashank Mishra (2nd year)