Bait and Switch? U.S – North Korea Summit Ends Prematurely with NO AGREEMENT

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HANOI – At the summit in Hanoi, the United States and the DPRK failed to reach agreement. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left the summit earlier than planned, with no agreement reached.

No reasons for the early departure of the leaders are reported. The White House said that the parties will continue negotiations in the future, according to the White House’s press service.

Trump’s press conference was postponed two hours earlier – at 14:00 (10:00 Moscow time). According to journalists, the ceremony of signing the final document and a joint lunch also appear to have been canceled.

Later, Trump will talk to South Korean leader Moon Jae-in by telephone about the results of his meeting with Kim Jong-un.

This was the second day of negotiations between the leaders of the United States and the DPRK. The work of the two delegations began with a personal meeting of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, which they held in a one-on-one format. Trump called the meeting with Kim Jong-un held on February 27th “magnificent.” The DPRK leader said that he would make every effort to complete the negotiations successfully.

Bait and Switch?

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The sudden and early end to the summit raises serious questions about the nature of the proposals from the U.S side. Normally, summits that are based upon an understanding that an agreement will be reached are matters of formality, with the details having been worked out ahead of time. As this summit was unexpectedly ended prematurely, it is possible that the ‘pre-agreement’ on what the agreement would be, was switched at the last minute by the U.S side. 

The reality is that North and South Korea have been looking at ways to reunify the two Koreas, but must agree on a range of matters, both practical and ideological – what would be the foundation of a united Korea?

What is now happening is that the U.S has inserted itself as some sort of broker or middle-man in the reunification process already underway.

At the same time, this self-assigned middle-man role that the U.S gave itself, is largely for western or minimally U.S internal consumption. Neither of the two Koreas are dependent on the U.S’s approval in the final analysis; it is largely a matter that the relevance, significance, and prestige of the U.S is placed into question if major historical events occur involving U.S allies or assets such as South Korea, without the spectacle of U.S management. 

The nuclear issue is furthermore a distraction – North Korea has no intention to give up its nuclear weapons. The possession of said weapons are likely to be among the reasons that North Korea has not been invaded by Atlanticist forces – that and its good relationship with, and geographic proximity and significance to, China.

In all likelihood, based upon the historic example, South Korean elites view Japan – not North Korea – as the primary regional hegemon which threatens its sovereignty. Therefore, South Korean elites would prefer that North Korea keep its nuclear arsenal, provided that a unified Korea would also be in possession of the same. 

 

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