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Trump-Kim’s Hanoi Summit was a disappointment, but all is not lost

20 6 9

FOLLOWING the Hanoi summit, critics argue that the absence of an agreement between Trump and Kim is a sign that diplomacy between the United States and North Korea has failed. But even without a roadmap to denuclearisation, the summit promoted important goals in these early stages of negotiations: dialogue, a continued freeze on nuclear testing and hope for a gradual lifting of economic sanctions.

The June 2018 summit in Singapore was the first time a sitting US president has met with a North Korean leader. Trump and Kim signed an agreement that included a pledge to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula, committing the United States and North Korea to working toward ‘peace and prosperity’.

But following the summit, Trump came under fire for not extracting guarantees from Pyongyang on the specifics of ‘denuclearisation’. Critics argued that promises to disarm were inadequate, as North Korea had advanced its ballistic and nuclear programmes to the point where a testing pause made little difference.

SEE ALSO: What the next Trump-Kim Summit could end up costing Vietnam

The Trump administration countered that the summit was not supposed to solve the nuclear crisis, but rather set conditions for future talks in which North Korea would give up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for economic incentives.

Despite continued goodwill, there has been no forward momentum on either side. Washington refuses to lift sanctions and Pyongyang reportedly continues to develop its nuclear weapons........

© Asian Correspondent