It has been confirmed by both the US and North Korea that Kim Jong Un is willing to meet and talk with US President Donald Trump about North Korea’s willingness to denuclearize. US officials claim that North Korea has already communicated with South Korea that it is prepared to address actions to denuclearize.
The confirmation of the meeting between the US and North Korea is the first assurance of North Korea’s willingness to denuclearize to the US directly. Reports from BBC state that the US wants North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal, while North Korea has called for the withdrawal of US troops from the South, and for the US to guarantee that they will not use its weapons to defend South Korea and Japan. However, the main details of timing and location of the meeting remain unclear. This meeting between the two nuclear powers is scheduled to occur in May and will be the first time in history that a sitting US president will meet with the leader of North Korea.
Laura Bicker, BBC Seoul Correspondent, believes that the confirmed meeting is a huge step forward for the two countries who have been throwing personal insults and nuclear bluffing at each other for years. Having open communication is required to ensure that both countries understand what each other want and to avoid nuclear destruction. However, many experts are concerned with what the definition of ‘denuclearization’ means to the US and North Korea. If the two leaders hold very different ideas of what denuclearization is, this could impact their meeting immensely when they finally come face to face for the first time.
This meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump may represent a fundamental step towards peacefully, and effectively, avoiding nuclear warfare. Denuclearization will ease the tensions between the US, South Korea, Japan, China, and North Korea while ensuring the safety of countless innocent individuals. It is highly important at this time that the international community support this dialogue between the US and North Korea, and advocate for discussion that places peace and security as the highest priority over egotistical agendas. Chinese President Xi Jinping recently stated, “We can only achieve win-win results by insisting on peaceful development and working together.” Even though this statement was made in regards to trade tensions, it is hoped that this mindset will be present in the talks between the US and North Korea.
North Korea has isolated itself from the international community and created a nuclear program to protect itself from the outside world. The country has carried out six nuclear tests and has claimed to hold a ballistic missile, which experts believe could target any part of the U.S. Previous attempts to negotiate nuclear denuclearization have been unsuccessful. However, recent talks between North Korea and South Korea in January, and North Korea’s involvement in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, have created a new wave of hope that talks of peace and denuclearization may be possible.
Both the US and North Korea’s willingness to discuss denuclearization should be supported and celebrated by the international community. However, the international community should also advocate for the definition of ‘denuclearization’ to be no nuclear weapons whatsoever. Any willing discussion between on-going enemies should be seen as a promising step forward towards upholding peace, sustainability, and security of not just the US, its allies, and North Korea, but the entire world.
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