According to the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the United States will remove the sanctions when full denuclearization occurs. However, the North Korea’s view of the process is somewhat different, and they believe that everything will happen in stages and that both countries will do their part, step by step.
The United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un met in Singapore at a long-anticipated summit about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In return, Trump and the United States are “committed to provide security guarantees.”
After the meeting in Beijing, with his Chinese counterpart, Pompeo said that the States had “made very clear that the sanctions and the economic relief that North Korea will receive will only happen after the full denuclearization, the complete denuclearization of North Korea.”
According to the US Secretary of State, Japan, China and South Korea, all acknowledged that the world has moved from a standstill on the Korean Peninsula, but all of these countries said that the sanctions were not to be removed. After the summit, China recommended that the international sanctions imposed on North Korea should be lifted.
“China has reaffirmed its commitment to honoring the UN security council resolutions. Those have mechanisms for relief contained in them, and we agreed that at the appropriate time that those would be considered,” Pompeo said, standing next to the Chinese government’s top diplomat, the state councilor, Wang Yi.
Wang said that China also wants to see North Korea denuclearized and they would continue to play “a constructive role” in the entire process. He also pointed out that the matter was complex and it couldn’t be solved overnight. Meanwhile, after the Tuesday meeting with South Korean President and Japan’s Foreign Minister, Mike Pompeo said: “We are going to get complete denuclearisation; only then will there be relief from the sanctions.”
On the other hand, North Korean media reported that both leaders recognized the importance of “step-by-step and simultaneous action” to achieve ultimate goals. However, at the summit, we haven’t learned anything about whether North Korea would eventually give up the nuclear program and how they were planning to dismantle the missiles. The skeptics of the summit once again said that the North Korean leadership sees the nuclear program as a shield against the alleged US plans to unite the two states on the Korean Peninsula, effectively removing Kim Jong-un from his position.
Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President, disagrees. He recognized the importance of the summit, saying that the world had escaped a war. Moon told Pompeo: “What’s most important was that the people of the world, including those in the United States, Japan, and Koreans, have all been able to escape the threat of war, nuclear weapons and missiles.”
Meanwhile, Pompeo keeps saying that North Korea was willing to give up their nuclear program, but that this would “be a process, not an easy one.” Once again, he pointed out that they would do this quickly and that they were aware that the reward would be the relief from the UN sanctions, which will come after “complete denuclearization.”
Besides the talk of denuclearization, North and South Korea had military discussions as well, for the first time in over ten years. This was a follow up after the inter-Korean summit which took place in April where the two leaders agreed to do everything to ease tensions on the peninsula.
Speaking of the military talks, the US president said on a news conference that he would end the US-South Korean military exercises. Japan opposed this and pointed out that such exercises were crucial for the security of eastern Asia. One of the US officials, who wanted to remain anonymous said: “Make no mistake, we are going to maintain the readiness of our forces in South Korea.” The US has 28,500 soldiers in South Korea, that is technically in a state of war with the North since the Korean War ended with a truce.
In the meantime, Vladimir Putin pleaded North Korean official Kim Yong-Nam to invite Kim-Jong-un to visit Russia in September.