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Korea summit puts nuclear ball in Trump's court

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29.04.2018

After a summit high on theatrics, emotional displays of Korean reconciliation and some important but familiar sounding plans to boost bilateral relations, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has safely returned to Pyongyang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to his official residence in Seoul.

But is buyer's remorse about to set in?

Despite its feel-good emphasis on relationship-building, the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade left a lot of question marks around the biggest and most contentious agenda item of them all: denuclearization. And that puts the ball squarely in the court of President Donald Trump, whose much anticipated sit-down with Kim is expected to be just weeks away.

For Moon and Kim, that was probably a feature, not a bug. They were both looking to make a show of Korean unity. But it could complicate matters for Trump, who has raised expectations of a deal with Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons much higher. In the long run, that could complicate things for everyone involved.

For sure, Friday's daylong summit inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Koreas was a major step forward for diplomacy and could set a more solid foundation for future, more substantive talks. Starting off with a meeting that establishes goodwill and personal relationships at the highest level........

© Japan Today