North Korea will have to wait for a while to see what is more hurting: American sanctions or trusting America? It is interesting that after stampeding Iran nuclear deal only weeks ago President Trump found a willing state to ink a fresh but highly vague nuclear framework. True to his usual Madman approach towards diplomacy, Trump has declared that the North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat. North Korean media has since switched over to a jubilant mode, calling it a great victory, claiming that North Korea had won major concessions as the US president said: “the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!” “No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic!” Trump had twittered.
Kim had made great gestures prior to summit, dismantling of nuclear testing site, removal of three top military generals and letting go American hostages alongside a promise of a moratorium on missile testing as well. On the other hand, Trump played hard, he even walked away from the summit; he reverse paddled after receiving a big letter from Kim.
Retired Admiral Harry Harris, the US ambassador designate to South Korea has challenged Trump’s claim that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat to the world, saying that “we have to continue to worry about that.” North Korea’s media said that President Trump had not only promised to end joint military drills with South Korea, but also to lift sanctions and allow a “step-by-step” denuclearization process, rather than the immediate dismantling of its nuclear program.
Independent analysts have pointed to the lack of substance in the agreement that has committed the US to unspecified security guarantees for North Korea in exchange for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Many have said that though Pyongyang had vowed in the past to denuclearize but had repeatedly broken such promises.On paper, there is nothing President Trump could extract from North Korean leader, that Kim’s father and grandfather had not already given to past American presidents. In fact, he got less, at least for now.
Did Kim play blind or he has had credible assurances through back channels. While analysts were hoping that after Iran nuclear deal fiasco, it would be Kim, walking away from the summit citing credibility issue with Trump, he was seen as dying for the summit, this eagerness surprised many. Have long biting sanctions sapped Kim’s will to resist, or there is an undercover understanding on the issue between China and the US on the final outcome of settlement? One has to only wait and see. A long march toward uncertainty has just begun!