If it is true that every crisis creates an opportunity, n tension generated around North Korea's nuclear program has opened most unlikely of possibilities: a face-to-face meeting between North Korean supreme Leader Kim Jong-UN, and US President , Donald Trump. Asia, and rest of world, has received gasped announcement of South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-Yong at White House on summit in late May. An announcement that has three main causes: China's much stricter compliance with international sanctions against Pyongyang, American threats of a preemptive strike — credible, given Trump's unpredictability — and diplomacy From South Korean government of President Moon Jae-in.
"China has shown that it seriously complies with sanctions against North Korean nuclear program. That has greatly affected North Korea in all respects, "explains Professor Chen Xiaohe of Renmin University in Chinese capital, who cites near-total embargo on sale of oil to Pyongyang as an especially painful measure. "And it will still be stronger if it continues in six months or a year," as Norrn reserves run out, he points. Respect for sanctions by China--The great international Resider so far of North Korean regime--became much stricter since last September, when North Korea completed its sixth nuclear test, largest that it has carried out so far.
Who has received most enthusiasm announcement has been Moon, whose role has been essential in events of last two months. The South Korean president has bet since his arrival in power to build bridges to north to get a dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang and achieve resignation of north to its nuclear weapons and missile program. His was idea of trying to take advantage of Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang as a tool of rapprochement that, it seems, is giving unexpected fruits at a speed of vertigo. "The May meeting will be remembered as a historic landmark that achieved peace on Korean peninsula," said head of state. If Kim and Trump meet, " complete denuclearization of Korean Peninsula-- great goal of United States and Seoul--will be fully in right direction."More information
- Trump agrees to meet with North Korean leader
- Sanctions tighten Kim Jong-un's regime
- "US conditions have been met to speak to North Korea"
There are still many questions to be resolved before we get re. To begin where and under what conditions this unprecedented conversation will unfold between two of world's most unpredictable leaders. A careful roadmap will also have to be established to ensure that summit yields results. That is not limited to a mere photo. And that re is no such thing as a disagreement that remedy is worse than disease.
Much of preparations will fall on South Korea in its role as mediator. Moon has already planned its own summit with Kim next month, in Panmunjom, on border between two Koreas. A historic meeting in itself- first of leaders of two countries in eleven years-but which will serve to pave agenda for May.
What is going to be profiling will be followed with utmost attention by neighboring countries. Chung will move in next few days to Beijing and Moscow to inform authorities in capital. Seoul will also send an emissary to Japan, a country that had so far advocated for keeping line hard towards Pyongyang and pressing sanctions.
Worried about not being sidelined in a matter of great importance to his country--several of missiles that North Korea launched last year flew over its territory--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already announced a visit in April to Washington to coordinate Positions. Abe spoke this Friday on phone with Trump and insisted that both countries agree "100%" on North Korea.
Optimistic operating cautious China was shown. The spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang has given this Friday welcome to "positive signs" and has called for "political courage" to parties to bring to fruition talks.
The one who has not reacted has been, precisely, North Korea. His official media has not yet reported Chung's meeting with Trump at White House.
For now, great beneficiary is Kim himself. For now, it's time. It also dissipates threat of a possible preemptive strike. And it can justify to its citizens that having nuclear weapons allows it to rub shoulders with American president, something that his far Kim Jong-Il aspired but to what Washington never came to give.
Meeting with Trump "gives him an equal status with President of United States and strengns his aspiration for North Korea to be recognized as a de facto nuclear power," says Evan Medeiros, former advisor to President Barack Obama for Asia, in a note Of consultant Eurasia Group.
One disadvantage suffered by Trump administration is its lack of experts in North Korea: The US special Envoy, Joseph Yun, withdrew last week and re is no appointment of an assistant secretary of state for Asia. He doesn't even have an ambassador in Seoul. The main candidate, Victor Cha, was dismissed after expressing his disagreement with a possible preventive attack on North Korean soil. In contrast, North Korean officials already have extensive experience.
According to Tuiteaba Suzanne di Maggio, of think tank New America, meeting "will have to be managed very carefully, with a lot of preparation work. Orwise, you run risk of becoming a spectacle rar than something substantial. Right now, it's Kim Jong-a WHO's dialing agenda and Beat, and Trump administration reacts. The administration has to act fast to change it. "