Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/13/18

Trump-Kim Summit Raises Cautious Hopes for Peace

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Author 16373
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Joe Lauria
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

From Consortium News

'Trump Pump' Handshake Gave President Upper Hand With Kim Jong Un
'Trump Pump' Handshake Gave President Upper Hand With Kim Jong Un
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Inside Edition)
  Details   DMCA

In time it will become evident whether the joint statement signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un on Tuesday will lead to a formal end to the Korean War, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an end what the North sees as U.S. provocations against Pyongyang.

On the morning after, we are only left with the atmospherics and images from the historic meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore. The two leaders -- who just months ago were hurling insults at each other, with Kim calling Trump "dotard," and Trump calling Kim "Little Rocket Man," -- left Singapore and the details of the negotiation to their administrations.

As the document they signed has not yet been released, it is difficult to know what exactly they have agreed to. Trump held it up briefly so that reporters could read that he had "committed to provide security guarantees" to North Korea and Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." How that denuclearization is carried out may be the most difficult detail of all to work out.

The statement called for "follow-on negotiations" between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an unnamed senior North Korean official "at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes" of the summit, which are still largely unknown.

The document also said the U.S. and North Korea would "join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime" on the Korean Peninsula, which could mean negotiations leading to a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War. North Korea was devastated in that war, with U.S. generals saying they were practically running out of targets to bomb. The U.S. unloaded 635,000 tons of explosives and 32,557 tons of napalm. "Over a period of three years or so, we killed off -- what -- 20 percent of the population," Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, Strategic Air Command leader during the war, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, later secretary of state in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, said the U.S. bombed "everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another."

With memories of that destruction still strong, North Korea long saw U.S.-South Korean war games as dangerous provocations. Three times before the North sought a deal with the U.S. in which Washington would guarentee the North's security, in exchange for an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Three times, in 1994 and again in 2005 and 2007, those negotiations failed when the U.S. refused to trust Pyongyang. New sanctions were piled on North Korea by the U.S., and with the assent of Moscow and Beijing, at the United Nations. But it was not until the North successfully tested nuclear weapons and developed an intercontinental ballistic missile that could soon reach the U.S. West Coast that Washington apparently got serious about reaching a deal, which was only begun in Singapore on Tuesday.

At his press conference following the summit, Trump said the U.S. would "suspend" military exercises and he expected the North to "very quickly" denuclearize. For Trump personally, an ultimately successful outcome would be a triumph in that he had to outmaneuver neoconservative aides, such as his national security adviser, John Bolton, just to get the summit to take place. Trump may be motivated by vanity in wanting to win a Nobel Peace Prize, but if peace actually results, it would only be his fiercest critics who would quibble with his motive.

Reluctant members of his administration might have gone along with the summit because part of the deal may well involve U.S. corporate participation in the North Korean economy, which is rich in undeveloped mineral resources.

Opposition Democrats and the U.S. news media largely portrayed the summit, the first ever between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader, as a waste of time or worse, indicating that Trump would be fleeced or that it would end in failure. That is yet to be determined.

But the fact that the two leaders met at all, an idea that would have been considered absurd just three months ago, creates hope that tensions in Korea, after more than half a century, may actually be resolved.

Valuable 2   Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Joe Lauria Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Joe Lauria has been a independent journalist covering international affairs and the Middle East for more than 20 years. A former Wall Street Journal United Nations correspondent, Mr. Lauria has been an investigative reporter for The Sunday Times (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Giuliani Says Assange Should Not Be Prosecuted

A History of 'Fear'

Julian Assange Wins 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award

A New Twist in Seth Rich Murder Case

Bernie Sanders's Hopes and Regrets

Is an Independent Europe Possible?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: