North Korean Summit

On Tuesday June 12th, 2018 President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un both met in a historic summit between the two nations. President Trump and Kim Jong Un met around 9 a.m. Tuesday Morning, which was 9pm Monday in Washington.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed agreements laying out activities that both sides are going to be partaking in within the coming months. President Trump announced that the United States would freeze upcoming war games with South Korea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not specify what security assurances would be granted to the North Koreans, but did say that they would not go further then what was agreed to in 2005. The 2005 nuclear deal was issued by negotiators from the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea. The statement said that the North would allow inspectors to enter the country and they would stop all production and testing of nuclear bombs.

The White House released the text of a joint statement following the meeting. The joint statement detailed four different points that the two nations acknowledged to work towards, including establishing new relations, discussing the establishment of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and the complete denuclearization of the Peninsula. The fourth and final point was to commit to recovering POW/MIA U.S. service members lost during the Korean War.

The president’s decision to meet with the North Korean President comes at a time of heightened security and alertness within the region.  Just this last year  North Korea conducted numerous ballistic missile tests while the president and Kim Jong Un traded barbs. This meeting comes in the wake of the North Koreans and South Koreans joining together for the Olympic games and also following the meeting of both South Koreans president Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un of North Korea. During the joint Koreas meeting they signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. There were also potential talks about formally ending the Korean War.

Following President Trump and Kim Jong Un’s historical meeting, many unanswered questions remain. The looming question is where or not Kim Jong Un will follow through with denuclearization, as well as questions about how the U.S. will verify such measures.

Follow up negotiations are supposed to take place with Secretary of State  Mike Pompeo and a high level North Korean official, at the earliest possible date between the two countries. It’s likely that these meetings will begin to lay the groundwork for an actual agreement, and where sharp disagreements between the two sides are most likely to arise.

The United States has hit North Korea with multiple different sanctions over the years to try and attempt a meeting with them. The most recent sanctions were put on by Executive Order 13810. Which states that no property may be transferred to North Korea including but not limited to; construction, fishing, energy, medial, mining, manufacturing, or transportation. Further more the order stated that making any type of contribution would be blocked by the government. These sanctions made it so no one in the United States could do any type of business with the county of North Korea.  By issuing strong sanctions it was one tool that was used to bring Kim Jong Un to the talks in Singapore.

China did state that sanctions relief could be considered for North Korea, following the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. China was one a country that did sign on to the United Nations sanctions against the north. China did state that sanctions can be changed given changes in politics.

It seems at this point that the United States will not be relieving sanctions against the North Koreans while the talks are ongoing. The US does not want to lose the leverage it currently has over the regime.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un both expressed optimism at the conclusion of the summit, with Trump thanking Kim Jong Un for taking first steps to help bring about a denuclearized Korean peninsula.