Trump-Kim dialogue should continue - GulfToday

Trump-Kim dialogue should continue


Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump during a meeting.

Considering that nuclear weapons are the most dangerous enemies of humanity and the scale of devastation they could cause is inconceivable, the opportunity to engage diplomatically with North Korea should never be let off.

Hence it is encouraging that both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have backed a possible third summit between the two nations.

It’s true that the failure of the second meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, which was supposed to build on their historic first summit in Singapore, ended in a deadlock and turned out to be a big disappointment.

However, there’s no point in giving up the dialogue process. A matter of such importance calls for sincere and deep deliberations and, hence, time should not be a constraint as long as the focus on denuclearisation is clear.

Trump has repeatedly pointed to the pair’s “excellent relationship.” He has stated that he agrees with Kim Jong Un that their personal relationship remains “very good,” perhaps the term “excellent” would be even more accurate, and that a third summit would be good in that both could fully understand where they stood.

The words sound positive bearing in mind the fact that Washington had blamed the February deadlock on the North’s demands for sanctions relief in return for limited nuclear disarmament.

The United States even imposed new sanctions on North Korea since the second summit broke down and Pyongyang pulled out of a liaison office, making the world community believe that the denuclearisation process was rapidly sliding back to square one.

Last month, a senior North Korean official had warned that Kim might rethink a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests in place since 2017 unless Washington makes concessions such as easing sanctions.

In a speech to parliament on Friday, Kim indicated that the Hanoi meeting had made him question whether Washington was genuinely interested in improving its relations with Pyongyang. But he did add that his personal relationship with Trump remained strong, and that they could “write letters to each other” whenever they wanted.

The message from Kim is that his country would wait with patience until the end of the year for the US to make a “courageous decision.”

Incidentally, Pyongyang has been careful not to criticise Trump personally, while attacking sanctions on North Korea as an attempt to destroy modern civilisation and turn the society back in a medieval dark age.

Pyongyang’s demand for lifting of crippling sanctions in their entirety has been cited as a major point of contention that floored the earlier summit. Trump’s decision to make no easy compromise is understandable. What is consoling is that the doors of dialogue are not shut.

Both the parties should continue productive discussions. The Trump-Kim chemistry should help overcome the differences. Pyongyang has no choice but to initiate concrete actions and prove to the world that it is serious on the subject of denuclearisation.

North Korea carried out six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017 and it was thanks to diplomatic efforts led by the US and South Korea to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula that there was a lull in rocket launches.

All efforts leading towards the eventual denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula should be welcomed, as the path of co-operation is anytime better than threats of destruction.

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