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Trump-Kim summit: What are the intentions of the two countries?
By admin March 13, 2018

Photo:http://news.ifeng.com

On March 8th, South Korean President Yu Yirong announced in Washington that Trump had accepted the request of Kim Jong-un to have a summit. President Trump also issued a tweet to confirm this statement, and state the summit will be held before May 2018. As soon as the news came out, it immediately raised the concern of the international community. The positions of the countries concerned are also different. Some countries are cautious while others are very willing to see this happen.

The news that Kim Jong-un and Trump will meet in May of this year is of great interest to all those concerned about the situation in North Korea. In the second half of 2017, North Korea’s “two bombs program”made substantive progress, allowing North Korea’s strategic power to exceed all countries except the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and even has the ability to threaten the United States. The United States has maintained a “strategic for patience” approach in this process. It has not launched any blows to North Korea and proves that the United States has no intention of removing North Korea’s nuclear forces by military means.

No matter what reason the two countries have decided to meet, this kind of meeting is the first in the history of bilateral relations between the two nation-states. After the Korean War ended in 1953, the United States and North Korea have been rivals and the top leaders have not yet met. During the Clinton administration, there was interaction between the United States and North Korea. The top North Korean leader invited U.S. President Bill Clinton to visit but he was not able to undertake the trip. Until October 2000, President Clinton was the only president to send the Secretary of State to North Korea.

Since 2000, the United States has adjusted its policy toward North Korea based on its geopolitical strategy. If the situation on the peninsula remains tense, the United States is able to maintain regional dominance. At the same time, it can also influence Japan and South Korea as well as put pressure on China.

Trump agreed to the suggested summit due to the strategic adjustment that could result from the meeting. Trump has highlighted the competition with major countries as the core of the administration’s foreign policy. Starting in December of last year, the U.S. government issued a series of strategic reporting documents, which shows that Trump is shifting its strategic focus. These reports believe that North Korea and Iran do pose a direct and realistic threat to the interests of the United States, but only countries like China and Russia can influence the hegemony of the United States. In this context, Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un, which means that North Korea’s nuclear technology is not a matter of life and death for the United States. The United States can use North Korea to conduct “strategic competition” with China.

North Korea has its own purpose to initiate interaction.

First, to ease international pressure. North Korea has faced international pressure for many years. In the near term, the U.S. has changed its assessment of the threat of North Korea’s nuclear threats. In the past, the U.S. did not consider North Korea’s nuclear threat a big problem, but it is now being looked at as a direct threat. When a country can threaten the United States, American policy makers will reply with a serious response. After Trump came to power, he continued to emphasize the North Korean nuclear issue.

Second, adjust domestic development priorities. Kim Jong-un proposed to hold nuclear weapons and develop the economy in parallel. In terms of acquiring nuclear weapons, North Korea has indeed made considerable progress. In terms of developing the economy, North Korea still lags behind. North Korea has a difficult barrier to breakthrough in nuclear technology. Therefore, North Korea needs to create an external environment and allocate additional time to replace its nuclear development capability.

This is undoubtedly a rare opportunity for North Korea to sit down with the United States and talk about the nuclear issue. Currently, there are three choices for them as they continue increasing their nuclear capacity: dialogue, sanctions, and/or war. At present, no country can undertake a large-scale war. Sanctions impose restrictions on North Korea to some extent, but it is impossible to solve the problem fundamentally. Only the countries involved, especially the United States and North Korea, can sit down and talk as this is the only way to begin solving the key issues between the countries. If President Trump and North Korea’s top leaders can have a summit, this could ease the tense situation on the Korean peninsula and even the Northeast Asian region.

For further reading:

 Could the Trump-Kim Summit Succeed?

Three Key Questions About Donald Trump’s Summit with Kim Jong Un

The pros and cons of a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

Trump Kim talks: The tricky task of preparing for the summit


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