High-level talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to take place in Singapore on June 12. This will be the first meeting between sitting US and North Korean leaders. The talks will focus on denuclearization, as well as bringing peace to the Korean peninsula.
Summit Outcome Depends on Expectations
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope in a welcome address at the Primakov Readings international think tank summit on Wednesday that neither North Korea nor the United States would pose ultimatums as a result of the summit.
Robert Manning, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said that only a broad agreement between the United States and North Korea would be achieved at the June 12 summit.
"The most I would expect is some broad agreement in principle to dismantle some nuclear weapons in exchange for some package of benefits and then it'll have to be worked out at lower levels to work out the details," Manning said.
Rakesh Sood, a distinguished fellow at the Indian Observer Research Foundation, stated that currently it is difficult to predict the outcome but a positive outcome could stem from the ongoing bilateral meetings between US and North Korean counterparts to manage expectations.
"It is difficult to predict the outcome because at this moment there seems to be a fairly wide gap between what President Trump seems to want and what Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is prepared to offer. But between now and June 12 clearly, there are meetings that are taking place … That may also help in bridging the gap in bringing about a positive outcome," Sood said.
North Korean senior diplomat Kim Yong Chol is currently visiting the United States, making him the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000. He met with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York on Wednesday to discuss the potential summit, as announced on the official Twitter of Pompeo.
Pompeo outlined that the United States remains committed to complete and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Sood noted that at this point, that the summit between the two countries was more than likely to take place, as President Trump had already altered his mind about its occurrence on more than one occasion previously.
"I think we can't be certain because we all know that President Trump is prone to changing his mind quite suddenly. But at the same time, I think that having already flip-flopped more than once, my guess is that this time the summit will actually take place on June 12 in Singapore as has planned," Sood said.
Last week, Trump reaffirmed his plans to meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12, after a brief cancellation of the summit over perceived hostile comments made by the North Korean Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Chloe Son-hui in a statement released on May 23.
Manning concurred with this assessment, adding that the current bilateral meetings between the United States and North Korea signaled that the summit would happen.
"With Donald Trump nothing is ever certain but I think if you look at all the enormous burst of activity, the number two man in North Korea coming to Washington, meetings in the DMZ, meetings in Singapore, I think Trump wants it to happen and I think it's going to happen on June 12," Manning said.
Outside Involvement Necessary for Success
Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have previously met at the White House on May 22 to discuss preparations for the US-North Korea summit in Singapore. Moon also met with Kim in Panmunjom on Saturday, after Trump released a letter about the summit’s cancellation.
Sood stated that the possibility of the presence of Moon at the talks could ensure that the summit had a mediator to smooth out any communication issues.
"It is quite possible that the South Korean president and his office may also play some role, because I saw one report saying that it is possible that President Moon Jae-in may also be in Singapore on June 12. Now if that is going to happen that means the South Koreans obviously are playing a more active role. Certainly, the South Koreans have a big stake in the summit. They are closely involved, that's for sure. But if they are going to be there, they are going to be actively playing a role of a mediator or in any way of improving communication links between the North Koreans and the Americans," Sood said.
Manning stated that it was concerning that other states such as Russia and China, who have an active interest in ensuring a denuclearized Korean peninsula, were not also engaged on a more active level.
"I am a little disturbed that there is not more multilateral diplomacy. That's why we had six-party talks, because the front line North East Asia states, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea really need to all have a role. They all have a strong interest in the future of the Korean peninsula and I think they're all going to have to cooperate to make the deal work," Manning said.
Kim had expressed his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula at April's Panmunjom summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. One of the steps was the shutdown of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Kim also agreed to meet with Trump.
The views and opinions expressed by the experts and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.