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What can we expect from the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-2-25 10:35:20 |Display all floors

Editor's note: Li Nan is an associate research fellow of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

A second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un will take place on February 27-28 in Vietnam's capital.

The choice of location is symbolic. For the U.S., the Communist Party of Vietnam was once a foe but is now a partner. Vietnam has also conducted a series of market reforms, and seen economic benefits. For Kim, he has talked about the "Vietnamese model" several times.

The U.S.-DPRK dialogue, which has been at a standstill is once again active. If the Singapore summit in June 2018 formed a principled consensus for the two countries to work towards, then the summit in Hanoi may offer the possibility of forming a specific roadmap for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

However, it is undeniable that the preparations for the summit are still insufficient, and the rush is obvious, as no agreement has been made by the two sides prior to the summit. With the urgency, can we expect a successful summit?

In accordance with the current negotiations between the U.S. and DPRK, the DPRK will likely once again reaffirm its will to denuclearize and commit to dismantling uranium, plutonium facilities and its missile launching base. It may even accept international organizations to enter the DPRK for verification.  

The U.S., however, has already realized that the process will likely take longer with Trump telling reporters recently that he is "not in a rush," indicating there might be more meetings with Kim. He appears to have shifted his definition of denuclearization and at this point, success seems to be "no testing" of nuclear weapons.

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Post time 2019-2-25 10:36:01 |Display all floors

From this perspective, the U.S. will also make corresponding concessions to the DPRK in response to its nuclear abandonment. These programs probably include establishing U.S.-DPRK liaison offices, restoring humanitarian aid to the DPRK, loosening some sanctions against the DPRK, suspending or reducing joint U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises, etc. Of course, this is an ideal list.

Even if a specific plan comes out of this summit, it will be difficult to overcome the mutual distrust between the two countries. Without mutual trust, implementation of any agreement will become a major test.

Inside the U.S. administration, most officials have never believed that the DPRK will truly abandon its nuclear weapons. Even the recent report released from the U.S. intelligence agencies said that the DPRK was still processing its nuclear activities. Moreover, the U.S. State Department has repeatedly claimed that it will not lift any sanctions against until the country has taken verifiable denuclearization steps. In the DPRK, the official media have also repeatedly criticized the U.S.-ROK military exercises and the U.S. sanctions. The mutual suspicion and hostility between the two sides have not weakened.  

Whatever the outcome of the summit, the bilateral relationship between the DPRK and U.S. has to improve, with prejudices remaining the biggest obstacle.

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Post time 2019-2-25 10:36:43 |Display all floors

However, the summit can set the tone for the entire Korean Peninsula. First of all, the DPRK and ROK will enter a new round of active interaction. The Moon Jae-in administration is eager to launch a series of North-South economic cooperation projects, beginning with restarting the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mt. Kumgang tourist resort. For Moon, the Hanoi summit is crucial to his own plans for advancing the North-South relationship. The longstanding tension in the peninsula will be greatly reduced, and economic development will become the main theme.

Second, the DPRK has succeeded in achieving diplomatic breakthroughs, greatly improving relations with neighboring countries and major powers, and gradually getting rid of its long-standing isolation. From the first Singapore summit to the upcoming Vietnam summit, relations between the DPRK and Southeast Asian countries will also be restored and developed. The full restoration of diplomatic relations is undoubtedly conducive to the DPRK's economic development.

Finally, with the improvement of U.S.-DPRK relations, the close military and intelligence links between the U.S., ROK and Japan will be gradually weakened. In particular, the current deterioration between the ROK and Japan has been intensified, and the cracks in the sharing of defense costs and trade issues between the U.S. and ROK, the U.S. and Japan have already appeared.

The trilateral is in jeopardy, and Trump's attitude of the alliance is being criticized within his country. If the Vietnam summit re-emerges with the plan to hurt the allies, the gap between the three countries will be more intensified.

The second summit of the U.S. and DPRK will bring another round of cooperation and contest in Northeast Asia in 2019.

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Post time 2019-2-25 22:51:54 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ted180 at 2019-2-25 10:40

I expect nothing from any meeting between the US and the DPRK. I'm a Canadian and have the highest regard for the potential of the USA. But I do not believe the US should be projecting its power into Korea. The entire Korean Peninsula should be fully within the influence of China - just as Canada and Mexico are fully within the influence of the US. China is already the Second Great Power due to its magnificent efforts to repair all the damage of the 19th and 20th century. The future of humanity depends on a good relationship between these two powers. The European Union is weak and divided. Russia no longer has the potential to be a great power (It's GDP is as small as that of Canada or Italy; it is corrupt; its living standards are low; its population is small; all it has is nuclear weapons.) Relations between China and the US will improve if the US ends all military commitments in Korea.

There's one final thing the US can do there: assist China and the ROK in disarming the DPRK and installing a decent government. If they work together, that job will be fast and fairly bloodless.

But, finally, I consider the Trump government to be so incompetent and unstable that it would be best not to make any major changes until he is gone in 2021. Until then, just keep the peace.

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Post time 2019-2-25 23:03:02 |Display all floors
ceciliazhang Post time: 2019-2-24 21:36
However, the summit can set the tone for the entire Korean Peninsula. First of all, the ...

The military and intelligence relations between the US and the ROK SHOULD be stopped altogether. The same with Taiwan. But those with Japan should (and will) remain strong - until Japan and China overcome their old rivalry. A peaceful Northeast Asia will permit the United States to withdraw its military. It will save both China and the US a LOT of money and raise the living standards of both.
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Post time 2019-2-26 06:53:26 |Display all floors
Expect nothing from this summit, Kim won't cave to the orange one.
Human lives mean nothing when the western warmongers see a bigger gain through war

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Post time 2019-2-27 18:13:29 |Display all floors
Ted180 Post time: 2019-2-25 22:51
I expect nothing from any meeting between the US and the DPRK. I'm a Canadian and have the highest r ...

Fully agree with your good self!

Confusion still remains to be erased from their minds!

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