TO SUMMIT UP

Written by Mertice Ho

What Happened?

The long-awaited summit has finally come and gone, here’s what happened. The summit was held at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa, where Trump and Kim met on 12 June (and where Kim felt the brunt of Trump’s fat joke). The two leaders signed a joint statement, with Kim reaffirming North Korea’s commitment to denuclearisation (the same commitment North Korea has made since 1992). Trump, on the other hand, promised the suspension of military exercises with South Korea, including, it seems, the one coming up this August. There’s also the promise to recover the remains of prisoners of war and people missing in action.

Why is this significant?

Well…it is the first meeting between a US president and a North Korean head of state. After all, the leaders of two countries that are technically still at war. Additionally, this summit very nearly did not happen and is a milestone globally.

However, as monumental as the summit is, the joint statement is iffy, with little detail of how it would be carried out and only statements about further cooperation. The statement has no timeline for how denuclearisation might happen and nothing about allowing inspectors to verify the denuclearisation. Furthermore, Trump’s promise to suspend military exercises left The Pentagon and South Korea scrambling. After all, the US’s commitment to South Korea doesn’t just impact South Korea’s safety, but also the safety of Japan and other allies in Asia.

Kim seems to be having a great time back home though, with his brand of state-controlled media rolling a 42 minute long documentary of his visit to Singapore. Though I suppose this is a more favourable alternative to when the two leaders spat fire and fury at each other.

(image taken from Reuters)

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