US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday held the first meeting between leaders of the two countries in Singapore since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The two leaders signed a joint statement, which includes North Korea’s reaffirmation of its commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as Washington and Pyongyang’s pledge to jointly set up a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Peninsula. The two sides noted they would work toward establishment of a new relationship.
The statement concluded, “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Both Trump and Kim expressed their satisfaction over their meeting in a short media briefing. No matter how hostile the two used to be against each other, how close they once were to a new war, today’s Kim-Trump summit highlighted a new possibility — peaceful denuclearization of North Korea, Washington addressing Pyongyang’s core concerns and the Korean peninsula heading toward the realization of permanent peace.
Is the result of this summit reliable? Since there is no expression such as “complete,” “verifiable” or “irreversible denuclearization” in the joint statement, some people from the US and South Korea may think the declaration is “not thorough enough” and still doubt whether North Korea would eventually abandon its nuclear program. But the correct response should be promoting the thorough implementation of the agreement through continuous efforts.
Did anyone dare to believe that such a summit can actually take place half a year ago? A certain force is pushing such seemingly impossible things toward becoming possible.
This force is the new logic of international politics in the 21st century. This is not an era in which everything is decided by conquest. No matter how powerful a nation’s military, it cannot solve all the problems concerning its core interests, neither can it create well-being and peace. Mutual respect for others’ core interest and care for each other’s major concerns is now at the top of global political rules.
From this perspective, we can be more optimistic and confident over the future US-North Korea relations and their outlook of carrying out the agreement. It is rational to think that Washington and Pyongyang will continue to follow the roadmap they outlined today. It is more in line with their interests than turning around halfway or going back to hostilities.
To further promote denuclearization on the Peninsula, it is necessary to keep injecting momentum into the process. Boosting North Korea’s enthusiasm is crucial. Washington used to be very skeptical about Pyongyang, but this year, North Korea has been very consistent. It has taken unilateral steps to release three US hostages and demolished its nuclear test site. It is time to consider alleviating sanctions against Pyongyang.
The US’ earlier mindset – it would get back at North Korea after Pyongyang completes denuclearization – needs to be adjusted. The US may need to borrow some wisdom from Eastern philosophy. If it can have favorable interactions with North Korea and do away with its hostile attitude toward the country, the result will only be better.
—Courtesy: Global Times