On Feb. 27 and 28, President Donald Trump and Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi, Vietnam for the second summit between these two leaders. The meeting’s intent was to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea to maintain a more stable and peaceful Korean Peninsula.
The talks fell short as Kim Jong Un requested the United States lift most their sanctions on North Korea. They would, in turn, destroy their most prestigious and important nuclear facility. Trump did not accept such a proposal. Kim was fixed on his request, hence, the summit was cut short due to neither side compromising.
Even without a deal, however, this summit was a success for Trump and his administration and brings a peaceful Korean Peninsula one step closer.
The President held his ground. Kim Jong Un was asking too much and doing too little in return. One nuclear facility – even if important – for the majority of sanctions lifted would have been a risky and dangerous deal. On top of this, the sanctions imposed serve as a message to not only halt the nuclear weapons production but also to end the countless human rights violations committed by Kim and his regime.
Lifting most sanctions would not have stopped North Korea’s nuclear weapon productions or touched their arsenal and would allow them to continue to violate their citizen’s innate rights. Imagine if the President agreed to a deal such as the one Kim was proposing. North Korea would have only given up one nuclear facility while having the majority of the sanctions lifted and the rest of their nuclear arsenal intact.
Bringing Kim Jong Un to the table to even discuss denuclearization is unprecedented and historical for the Trump administration. Even after the immense amounts of tensions between these two nations, the escalating verbal threats made between these two leaders, and the continuous display of power and massive retaliation, these two men were able to meet together to discuss ways in which to bring peace to the region.
By simply being there, sitting down and talking about ways to prevent war and establish peace is in of itself a huge success.
Though the summit did not give out a deal, the fact that this administration was able to sit down and discuss such actions with Kim Jong Un is a necessary and a significant step in the process in improving U.S.-North Korean relations. The shaking of hands, negotiations, and meetings of these two leaders should not be disregarded nor taken for granted.
This summit brought the two nations and leaders closer in their relations and reiterated commitment to the promotion of peace and stability. Though the summit did not produce a deal, the President and Kim Jong Un now have an understanding of what each nation expects of the other and affirmed constructive negotiation(s) would continue between the two nations.
This summit was simply a step in the negotiations between the two countries. In the meantime, North Korea agreed to not conduct any nuclear tests. Trump came out successful in this summit and though slowly, we may yet see a peaceful Korean Peninsula.