After multiple cancellations and reschedules, the highly anticipated meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un finally happened today on June 12, 2018 in Singapore. The two would discuss topics such as the stability of the Northeast Asia area, and whether or not North Korea start becoming more included in Asia’s economic events and developments.
Why did Trump want a meeting in Kim Jong-un
Former US president Barack Obama previously had warned Trump on how North Korea would be his most troublesome topic. So to Trump, this talk with Kim would be an excellent opportunity to prove his high-end negotiation skills. If he was to secure success on easing tension with North Korea through this talk, he would be able to achieve something no American president has ever been able to do before.
Why would Kim want a meeting with Trump
Facing extreme seclusion from international matters, Kim wants North Korea to be great again. His focuses are improving the economy and trying to reconcile the hunger and poverty problem in North Korea, which he previously promised to solve in 2012. This meeting with the US president, the last being all the way back in 1953 right after the Korean War marked a historical achievement for himself that his father nor his grandfather ever achieved.
South Korea’s attitude
South Korea had been extremely divided among its people regarding the topic of North Korea. But especially after Kim’s meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in twice at the border gate to the Panmunjom Village, many of the South Korean’s impression on Kim has improved greatly.
Despite the desire Koreans (both South and North alike) have to unify from both side’s nationalism and love for the Korean Peninsula, due to the suspicion that North Korea would not give up on developing Nuclear Weapons, China, America, Japan, and Russia are all very against the amalgamation between the two countries.
If America, South Korea, and North Korea were to become closer, this may isolate China, which is very bad news to them. Which is why they may cause them to be unusually friendly to Kim Jong-un. Trump has his doubts on whether or not Kim had met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on May 7th, and how that may have been slightly influenced him, causing him to cancel the Trump and Kim meeting. China also loaned their Boeing 747 guest aircraft to Kim for transportation. This shows how China is going to involve themselves in the summit as well to keep themselves from being excluded in these future “newly created” relationships.
Why host the event at Singapore
Singapore wishes to use this meeting as an opportunity to increase international awareness with its country. This “plan” also included the Wang-Koo summit of 1993, The Ma Ying-jeou and Xi-Jinping summit in 2015, as well as the Kim-Trump summit in Shangri-La hotel this year. This event cost the Singaporean government roughly around 4.5 billion US dollars, with most of their resources used to prove to the world that Singapore is the world’s safest country.
Will North Korea dispose of their nuclear weapons
As North Korea uses every last ounce of their country’s resources to prosper along with their nuclear weapon developments, The Kim family also may have been viewing this nuclear project as their one saving grace. America and North Korea hostility have been standing quite long and strong, so before the US finally guarantee them protection, convincing North Korea to stop might be excessively more difficult.
Possible North and South Korea Peace Treaty
Although the Korean War cease-fire in 1953, the treaty that officially ends the war never happened. So technically speaking, although it’s a cease-fire, both countries are actually still at war. However, now, there’s actually a possibility that Trump may reach an agreement to sign a peace treaty to officially end the war. But China through official media has warned before “if China does not agree or participate in this treaty, this treaty would be invalid”.
Once the Korean War officially comes to an end, everyone has their own opinions on whether or not the US actually withdraw its military that is stationed in South Korea. On the other hand, China may request US to withdraw its forces, or at least withdraw half of its THAAD. But South Korea still supports US forces to remain in North Korea due to the threat between China and Japan.