South Korea and The United States have been at odds with North Korea, but new developments and possible rapprochement are underway after a historical meeting in Singapore between the heads of North Korea and the U.S.
This was not something any of us could have predicted… especially as the time to midnight — a simple tool used to gauge the United States’ closeness to nuclear war — was set to 2 minutes before midnight. This was the first time it was elevated this high since 1953. Read more: Alternatives to Economic Sanctions in North Korea.
A historical, unlikely moment
The meeting between President Trump and North Korea was extremely unlikely between other administrations. See a tweet about this by President Trump below.
About a month and a half ago, North Korea made public promises to begin denuclearization. There is a long history of similar promises made by North Korea in the past.
What’s so different about this time? It led to an actual face-to-face meeting.
Economic benefits a likely motivator for all parties involved
South Korea, one of the most advanced nations in the world, has provided the global economy with a lot. From developing and exporting cars and technology, among many other exports, the top three conglomerates of LG, Hyundai, and Samsung contribute to South Korea being an economic powerhouse. Real estate is limited and is extremely expensive in South Korea. The threat of war cannot be acceptable to anyone either — so they see tremendous benefits to ensure a deal actually happens.
North Korea, on the other side, has one of the world’s worst economies and is extremely undeveloped, the population is oppressed, and they are in a terrible state thanks to closure from the world. Both North and South Korea are highly motivated to denuclearize.
The U.S. position is a little more complicated, but ultimately South Korea is a military ally and economic partner. It’s important to note that this part of Asia is a hotspot — China, Japan, Taiwan, South and North Korea are all contributing to tension in some way.
Is this a public relations ploy?
I hope it’s not a public relations ploy, but it very well may be. Recently, President Trump has been bragging (on Twitter) about how Obama got nowhere with North Korea…
If President Obama (who got nowhere with North Korea and would have had to go to war with many millions of people being killed) had gotten along with North Korea and made the initial steps toward a deal that I have, the Fake News would have named him a national hero!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
What’s to stop Trump from pulling a bait-and-switch?
Now the idea that sanctions do not work and that diplomatic efforts should be fully exhausted is a great concept that should be employed. However, a major problem set by recent precedent exists with regards to Iran and their peaceful nuclear program.
What’s to stop Trump from pulling a bait-and-switch on North Korea? What’s to say that North Korea is simply making empty promises too? Absolutely nothing. At least now there is some dialog.
How long before Trump reneggs on another Nuclear deal and what about sanctions on Iran?
The nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, let Iran finally rejoin the global economy in exchange for strict conditions set for denuclearization. Iran has fully lived up to it’s part of the deal, which was supposed to last until 2025. It is very likely they will continue to live up to the agreement regardless of the U.S. reneging on promises.
New sanctions on Iran will likely lead to Iran having even closer ties with Asian and European nations, which will surely not benefit the U.S. Every European nation has refused to support Trump on reneging (with on exception: Poland).
Previous sanctions on Iran have led them to develop an indigenous military complex capable of producing advanced drone and missile technology. They are one of 9 nations capable of launching a satellite. Their defense forces were designed to repel any type of invasion, with learnings applied following the Iraq War. Open talks of nuclear bombardment of Iran by the U.S. are simply hypocritical and un-fucking-acceptable. If open ware were to ever truly happen — it will at best lead to a pyrrhic victory for the U.S.
Diminishing U.S. credibility internationally
When Trump came into office, much of his supporter base were (and still are), anti-Iranian Islamophobes. They supported Trump’s campaign as he vowed to rip up the agreement. Which he did.
How can people be against 80 million people in the first place? It’s baffling and simply idiotic.
More relevant to the recent diplomatic meeting with North Korea, the Iranian precedent set entails that nuclear deals with the U.S. is simply an empty promise. It also is extremely troubling and shows a lack of morality for the people of Iran, lack of political finess, and is downright idiotic.
Reneging on the JCPA agreement significantly diminishes the U.S. credibility internationally, which is at an all time low. If the U.S. were a brand, it would be viewed negatively by most of the global population due to empty brand promises.
Is rapprochement with North Korea actually going to happen?
My outlook on true rapprochement, through the U.S., is negative. Trump is using this as a public relations ploy and I think that it’s unlikely and will not materialize into anything real as Trump breached the nuclear deal with Iran this year.
Looking to the future — with China at the helm
Regardless of whether the U.S. will fulfill promises, this recent historic event will lead to a second summit in Bejing in December. China may be in a better position than the U.S. to fulfill promises and lead to the eventual denuclearization of North Korea, along with peace and normalized trade.
(Image: Evan Vucci/AP)