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It’s still not too late to walk out, Mr. Trump

13 0 2
13.06.2018

Tokyo held its breath when U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un finally met Tuesday in Singapore and discussed the issue of denuclearization. Since then, pundits in Japan have been divided over the true value of the U.S.-North Korea summit. The following are my humble observations on this “historic” political extravaganza.

The skeptics in Tokyo argue that it was Kim who won this diplomatic game. He got both international recognition as the legitimate political leader of North Korea and security guarantees from the president of the United States — without making any additional concessions on the definition and modality of denuclearization.

Trump on the contrary, they claim, only got a “historic” summit meeting, something no previous U.S. presidents had achieved, and basked in the international media spotlight, while failing to convince the North Korean leader to accept the concept of CVID — complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

The sympathizers in Tokyo have a rather different narrative. The young North Korean leader, they believe, has promised the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula including that of North Korea itself. Therefore, the summit was a first positive step toward peace and stability in a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Although no details have been worked out for denuclearization, they argue, it would be dealt with “fully and expeditiously” at the ministerial........

© The Japan Times