Miraculously, last month this all seemed to come to an end when Trump and Kim agreed to meet in Singapore to discuss denuclearisation, with many suggesting the President should be given a Nobel peace prize for his efforts. It was all so sweet and rosy, but unfortunately like a Trump marriage, it never lasts.
The temporary respite in tension has seemingly come to an end, as Trump has called off the summit and accused North Korea of aggression, leading some to believe that it’s not time to convert the underground bunker to a home cinema just yet. Sputnik spoke with James Dwyer, Teaching Fellow at the University Of Tasmania and Colin Alexander, lecturer in politics at Nottingham Trent University for more insight into the issue.
Sputnik: Was Trump’s decision to cancel his meeting with Kim Jong-un a surprise?
James Dwyer: It’s not really a surprise to be honest. Everyone who was following the issue was expecting something to go wrong. The surprise was that it was the Americans that pulled out of the talks, but I don’t think it was a surprise that the summit collapsed; that was to be expected.
Oddly, the North Koreans have been quite calm about this. Kim Jong-un has stated that they’d be willing to discuss this, whereas the Americans are actually issuing quite substantial threats, saying that if they don’t negotiate, military action could be on the table, with John Bolton and Mike Pence saying that we might see the “Libya situation”, implying an overthrow of the Kim regime. I’d like to think that they will resume negotiations, but all the issues can’t be resolved with one summit, which is what the Americans seemed to believe.
Sputnik: Has North Korea actually dismantled its Nuclear Test site and would this move necessarily remove its nuclear capacities?
Colin Alexander: It’s a strange one, surely they’d only destroy the facilities after negotiation with the US and Trump had occurred. Clearly this has been discussed when Kim met the South Korean leadership and when Mike Pompeo went to Pyongyang last month. Ultimately North Korea is a poor country, if it didn’t perceive that there was such a big threat from the outside world, and then they would spend their funds in other ways.
For them to create this facilities and then destroy them seems rather too quick, but throughout all the negotiations with the South, the US and China, you’ve got to think that some agreement must have been arranged. North Korea may still want to develop its nuclear power in the future, but at least for now it has this deterrent in principle.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Colin Alexander and James Dwyer and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.