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The impending meeting of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is arguably one of the most significant in modern times. It shows either that old enemies are genuinely willing to discuss issues in person around a table rather than go to war, or perhaps it is the realisation that a war of the nuclear kind would crown no side ‘the winner.’
It is a meeting which just months ago seemed impossible. When Trump was bragging on Twitter about how big his button was on his desk whilst openly insulting the North Korean leader there was a period where some were thinking the end could well have been near. Luckily, on this occasion we weren’t all wiped off the face of the earth over a twitter thread; this incidentally would have been a horrifically ironic way of the 21st century world ending.
The number one aim of the meeting in Singapore is for denuclearisation and structured peace on the Korean peninsula. Experts and advisors on both sides of the table have said that North Korea accept that denuclearisation is acceptable. To secure the deal which the USA wants, their secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said his government is ‘prepared to give security assurances necessary for the North Koreans to engage in denuclearisation.’ It’s hard to say at this point what the extent of this will be, but what we do know is that it will be a step further than the USA’s 2005 agreement to not attack North Korea by any means. Obviously Washington DC hopes this will be enough, but if Pyongyang disagrees then the talks could well grind to a halt.
Both parties have expressed their excitements about meeting for these talks. Whether this is genuine or just a spin for the mass of international media whose eyes will be glued to events in Singapore, it shows that at least the two leaders want something to change. If things go well we could even see an official end to the Korean War, a conflict which concluded in 1953 but without an official signed treaty. It may be just formalities, but having these signatures on a peace document could well foreshadow future meetings between the two nations.
It’s been well publicised that the opening session of the meeting will be the two leaders joined only by translators. If there was ever a chance to be a fly on the wall, it would be in that room at that point. This is hoped to be a way the leaders can try to cement some form of personal relationship before the politics takes precedence, they won’t quite have it all their own way by the time the advisors and right hand men step over the threshold.
The build up to the summit would be better associated with a famous actor or musician rather than politicians. Thousands of journalists have descended on Singapore and undoubtedly those and their counterparts around the world will have a huge influence on how the public will view proceedings. The regimented and heavily censored North Korean State Television Network has already shown how they will portray the summit, with big screens showing footage of their leader after arriving in Singapore. a fact which may have eluded many is that Un was reported as landing on a Chinese plane. Jean. H. Lee, a former Associated Press Bureau Chief to Pyongyang told the New York Times that this is highly significant, “By reporting that he landed in Singapore on a ‘Chinese plane’ highlights not only historic nature of his journey beyond Korea & China but also signals to his people that DPRK-Chinese relations have been restored.” This is vital as it supports a theory that the North Koreans would want to keep strong relations with an old ally whilst making a major stride towards peace with a nation they are technically still at war with.
It’s a major event to have the secluded nation of North Korea step forward for talks with a Western Nation and if such summits are repeated with perhaps more nations present then we could see Kim Jong Un becoming a serious player on the world stage and just maybe he would go to changing the often horrific way he runs his country through agreements with the UN. Peace with North Korea would be a major coup for the Trump administration, if Kim Jong Un one day opens up his country to the outside world then it would have started from this significant meeting in a hotel in Singapore.