North Korea has threatened to cancel the summit between its president Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump if the United States insists on the North Korean’s abandonment of nuclear weapon production. The announcement to cancel the meeting scheduled for June this year threatens to reverse weeks of progressive diplomatic talks. According to a news report published by Reuters on May 15, 2018, a North Korean news agency stated that the country called off diplomatic talks with Seoul, which is being considered the first sign of trouble in the recently warming ties of North Korea with South Korea, as well as the United States.
In a report published by CNN on May 16, 2018, the state-run North Korean news agency released a statement saying the country cannot accept economic assistance from the United States as coercion to unilaterally abandon its nuclear program. North Korea’s First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kim Kye Gwan, was quoted by the state-run news agency as saying that the U.S. assured North Korea of economic benefits and compensation if they were to stop the nuclear weapons project. “We have never had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic construction, and will not make such a deal in future,” Gwan added.
The scheduled diplomatic talks between President Trump and Kim Jong-un gives hope of peaceful co-existence among nations in the world. North Korea’s production and testing of nuclear weapons had already thrown countries into fears of a looming World War. Talks and improved diplomatic ties between North Korea and its southern counterpart, as well as North Korea’s enhanced relations with the rest of the world, are the best possible solutions to resolve the issue of nuclear weapons peacefully. The Trump administration should consider employing rhetoric that does not necessarily anger Kim Jong-un and his team, in order to allow for diplomatic progress to continue. Apart from that, the U.S. and North Korea should lift any unnecessary conditions to diplomatic talks, so as to allow for peaceful resolution of the primary issue at hand.
North Korea has threatened world peace through its massive production of nuclear weapons since the 1990s. Media reports indicate that the U.S. intelligence community reported North Korea had five dozen nuclear weapons by December 2017. During the 2016 presidential campaigns, President Trump suggested that Japan and South Korea should consider developing their own nuclear deterrents to protect themselves from North Korea. However, after Trump realized the threat posed by North Korean nuclear weapons is also directed at the United States, he changed his tune.
Although the U.S. President at first threatened to fight fire with fire if North Korea attempted to bomb the U.S., a cancellation of the scheduled diplomatic talks between Trump and Kim would throw the world back to the uncertain position it was at. The only peaceful way out for both presidents is to tone down their talks, drop the risks, and find a way to initiate the denuclearization process without either party feeling coerced.
Apart from that, the U.S. needs to set down it’s “world power” status when dealing with sensitive matters such as nuclear weapons. If North Korea considers itself equal to the United States before the talks, it could participate with a more open approach than if it feels bullied by the U.S.