It has been announced that the summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12th, in Singapore. Talks about the unprecedented sit-down began in March when President Trump unexpectedly accepted an invitation to meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The official announcement of the summit came shortly after three US detainees were released by North Korea. In an interview with The Associated Press, Tom Plant, a specialist in nuclear and proliferation issues at London’s Royal United Services Institute, said Singapore is a great location because it puts Kim “on friendly territory” but not “on home turf.”
This will be the first-ever face-to-face discussion between the US and North Korean leaders. President Trump expressed that they “will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace.” Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has also released a statement highlighting that the summit will be “a significant step on the path to peace.” This is a breakthrough in stark contrast to the previous spat between the two leaders, where multiple name-callings were witnessed.
According to CNN, the talks, which are expected to last one day, are set to focus on North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. Despite President Trump’s optimism about the upcoming summit, many are exercising cautious optimism. The North Korean regime has made only vague pledges to “denuclearize” with no specification as to what that means, when it would happen, or how it would be implemented.
Will the summit result in a positive breakthrough? On the one hand, the North Korean leader has taken historic steps that could signify a major shift in decades of aggressive nuclear weapons policy. This summit follows shortly behind a historic meeting between the North and South Korean leaders, with promises made to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and negotiate a treaty that will, as the New York Times puts it, “replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades.”
However, some skeptics rightfully point out that the North Korean regime has been notorious for breaking promises. After all, just approximately half a year ago in September, the North Korean leader had publicly called President Trump “mentally deranged” and a “dotard” after the US president labeled Kim Jong-un as a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission.” Nevertheless, the summit signifies a huge step forward and we can only hope that it will result in a shift in North Korea’s nuclear policies and a step closer to world peace.