Why the US and North Korea summit has global implication

Kim and Trump shake hands after their meeting in Singapore. (Net photo)

North Korea has been ruled by the malevolent Kim family, which has turned the top half of the peninsula into the world’s most totalitarian and isolated state, complete with a personality cult and a gulag system. 

The current leader Kim Jong Un, just like his father and grandfather before him, has been a very troublesome leader shaking the world’s geopolitics, and even threatening the coveted international peace and security.

He is an extrovert who is not afraid to make bold gestures, whether it is firing an intercontinental ballistic missile, or threatening world-leading economies with war.   

His theatrics, not once, have raised agitations from the United States and other powerful nation-states. This reached the point where the UN profoundly condemned these acts and going ahead to impose sanctions.

The initial UN sanctions in 2006 banned the supply of heavy weaponry, missile technology and luxury goods. By December 2017, the UN sanctions restricted oil imports, metal, agriculture and demanded the deportation of North Koreans working abroad.

These actions bore little in taming the young Kim in his nuclear enrichment programme.

Definitely, North Korea has been one of the most closed-off countries in the world, and with a regime that has continuously threatened nuclear war with the US.

In other words, North Korea never seemed like the kind of country that might fold quickly under a U.S. attack. Over a decade, none thought of ever having the two countries coming to a common table.

Not until Tuesday 12th June 2018, when the whole world acknowledged the possible truce of the two warring parties.

Many people across the world still hold their breath to figure out what this is all about, perhaps this is a manifestation of the pinch North Korea has been feeling as a result of isolations and sanctions imposed in response to their adamant position on nuclear disarmament.

It may also mean that the youthful North Korean leader is really into a global deal and ready to sit down with the US and other world superpowers for serious negotiations on issues affecting the world at their expense.

However, critics say that while the mood is positive the outcome is still too early to predict.

Meanwhile, it seems incomprehensible that this has occurred during the term of office of Donald Trump, given the tough stance the US president had last year, where the world was holding its breath about the possibility of President Trump starting a nuclear war with North Korea. A number of commentators scolded the US president of the possibility of plunging the world into a third world war.

Now, Trump is getting credit from foreign policy experts for taking a hardline approach to North Korea that other US presidents in the past were not willing to do, like more or less threatening to engage the country into war and doubling down on sanctions. In simple terms, his approach is seen to have paid off.

Pushing North Korea to the wall eventually left them with no options but to relent and accept to get along with the rest.  

Trump’s tactic is seen as a worthy goal in facilitating the recent talks between Koreas, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent agreement with Kim to seek an end to the conflict between them.

It is notable that the previous US administrations had not offered such an agreement, which might bring a massive change in the development of the two countries, prevention of nuclear proliferation, and improved international relations.   

President Trump seems also to have learnt from his predecessor. Despite the fiery tweets, indications are that he took Obama's warning seriously that North Korea would be one of his most intractable foreign policy problems. He may now seize these opportunities and prospects as some of the steps in foreign policy success, an area where he has all time gained a lower score.

Ultimately, the agreement signed between North Korea and US is seen not only to benefit the two nations but also play a major role in the global politics and economics.

As the details unfold, it’s a ‘wait and see’ game on whether its implementation will not be hindered by other dynamics; rather not hampered by self-interest as opposed to the anticipated collective good! 

At the end of the day, as William Shakespeare in one of his comedies observed, “all is well that end well”.

 

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