US President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and we are not certain why this meeting is happening now. Yes, they will talk about denuclearization, but this could have happened a decade ago as well. Either way, as we are closing to what is going to be the historic summit, the political analysts are skeptic about the talks. Usually, two countries discuss the matters before the agreement is signed, but this time the future of North Korea and the United States lies in the hands of two men, both of which have questionable nature. In other words, anything can happen.
The two leaders cannot be trusted at all. Kim Jong-Un has a long history of lies and broken promises, and the same goes for Trump as he often tends to change his mind. And now, these two personas should meet and talk truthfully about the things that are of paramount importance. Neither has any reason to believe a word that rolls off the tongue of the other leader, so these talks are going to be interesting.
We have to pay respects to the young leader of North Korea. He is going to meet face-to-face with the American President, which is something neither his father Kim Jong II nor his grandfather Kim II Sung managed to do. Kim Jong-Un will finally be perceived as an equal member of the world stage, and he should be treated as such. With this in mind, Kim is entering the talks with a slight edge.
Since Trump has agreed to meet with Kim, he is expected to do something significant. He keeps complaining about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed with Teheran, and now he has a chance to create and shape the deal which will be more successful than that one. Bear in mind that North Korea already has nukes, which means that arranging an agreement which is beneficial to the United States will be a lot harder than it seems. Whatever happens, it is always good to see the two sides talking, and this is an improvement on the status quo. We are not expecting much from the first summit, but opening such talks is important not only for the sides involved in the meeting but for everyone in the world.
Will the agreement reduce the danger of nuclear war?
Two indirect participants of the meeting will be China and South Korea. The goal is to prevent a new war on the Korean Peninsula and to see two sides striving to achieve that is much better than name calling. However, we need to acknowledge the fact that instead of reaching the deal, the talks can go the other way around and the tensions might increase. If Trump asks too much, the North Korean leader might refuse and offer fewer than he intended at first, which could force the US president to revisit the military option. We hope that this will not happen.
Will the agreement last?
For this deal to last, the two sides need to be satisfied. Otherwise, if the agreement favors one signatory, the other one will search for opportunities to either renegotiate the terms or evade the ones that are reached. Trump needs to be aware that Kim Jong-Un is not going to give up on the nuclear program and the already existent nuclear missiles lightly. They will probably ask for diplomatic recognition, the lifting of economic sanctions and for the US to withdraw its forces from South Korea. Perhaps Kim demands all three.
Both US and North Korea need to respect the terms, but to do so, America needs a formal treaty, duly ratified by the US Senate. North Korea will be sure that the US will do their part, but the same goes the other way around. The US needs confirmation that Kim will disband the nuclear weaponry and someone would have to oversee the process. If the deal is equal and not favoring any party, be sure that hawks in the US will call Trump a sellout.
The US in Asia
In a long-term, Trump needs to think more about his relationship with China and the position of the United States in these parts of Asia. Signing a deal at all costs is not an option, and the US needs to prevent China from becoming a dominant power. That would be a major blow for the US and its allies in the Pacific region. America has already left the Trans-Pacific Partnership which harmed them more than Trump thought it would, strengthening China’s position in the region. One more mistake and US would weaken significantly allowing China to grow.