• North Korea, on Tuesday, said it would restart working-level talks with the US. The plan is to hold a preliminary meeting on Friday and an official-level talk on Saturday. There is no information where the negotiations would take place.
• The two sides haven’t been on the table after the talks over the denuclearization process failed at a February summit in Vietnam.
• In an unplanned meeting in June, President Trump and Kim Jong Un agreed to resume working-level talks. However, annoyed by the US public sentiments and a joint military exercise between Seoul and Washington, North Korea carried several weapons tests.
• Even today, just hours after announcing the plans to resume talks with the US, North Korea fired atleast one ballistic missile into the waters near Japan.
• A couple of weeks back, North Korea named Myong Gil as its chief negotiator. Gil is a veteran diplomat with extensive U.S. experience. North Korea also praised the removal of John Bolton as national security adviser, calling him a “nasty troublemaker.”
Recently replaced Bolton has something to say about the resumed nuclear talks with NK. He has said it loud and clear. NK is playing us like a fiddle. Well, to be more exact: NK is playing Trump like a fiddle. Maybe Trump knows this, but hey—this meeting is a win-win for both of them. It may throw a signal to US constituents that—Look! We are doing something. And I suppose that is the takeaway Kim’s constituents will share as well. Amid the Ukraine scandal it’s hard to regard this announcement as even remotely serious or groundbreaking. Kim launched a missile shortly after the announcement of “talks.” That speaks volumes. He doesn’t care. He’s not giving up nuclear weapons. How could that possibly serve him?
Kim knows this fragile time for Trump is perfect for making demands. He’s desperate—Trump, that is. NK can get whatever they want from Trump, in exchange for a mere promise. The danger here is not so much the nuclear weapons (surprise!)—it’s what Trump is willing to stake for a promise that is guaranteed to go unmet. There’s no tact from the Trump administration. They’re trying to appeal to uneducated Americans who don’t understand the history and nature of the NK conflict. This is not likely to change it. This is not a time for talks. Trump has other business to settle, but he’s just running as fast as he can.
Trump continues to impress me with his exceptional dedication to improving diplomatic relations with North Korea. Once, NK was “untouchable.” Today, the president has patted the leader’s back, visited his country, and chosen to converse rather than ignore. There’s one crucial element to conflict resolution: communication. The foreign policy consensus that once ruled D.C. has been demolished and replaced by a better, more human tactic: by treating Kim as a person. His actions and willingness to resume talks with a country’s leader who is notably unreliable and potentially dangerous is an amazing favor Trump is doing to our country. We may see, because of these efforts, that a future with a sustainable peace plan and stability could exist. Anyone interested in lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and a withdrawal of troops, should be happy about this.
Trump has opened a door. The time is right to deal with North Korea. An ignored menace will come to haunt you. That’s not a fable, that’s a tried and true truth of human nature.
It’s better to face threats head on and diffuse before major danger looms in the near future. Thank you, Mr. President!