A new peace deal in the Korean Peninsula could soon be achieved after talks between North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and representatives from South Korea. The meeting was deemed fruitful. Reports indicate that the delegation from South Korea dined with Kim Jong-un for four hours discussing possible paths towards a peace agreement in the region and denuclearization.
According to the New York Times, North Korea is even ready to abandon its nuclear weapons program if it gets security guarantees from the US. But President Trump took credit for this diplomatic breakthrough saying that the sanctions against North Korea forced Kim Jong-un to sit at the table.
Despite what seems like a good opportunity to end the crisis in the Korean Peninsula, experts are urging caution as these talks progress. North Korea has a checkered history of keeping up with anti-nuclear agreements. Although the isolated country has expressed its intention to stop the nuclear program, this decision may only be temporary while they negotiate with the US.
President Donald Trump has not shied away from belittling the North Korean leader. Trump has often referred to Kim Jong-un as the “little rocket man” and has on some occasions threatened the hermit kingdom. Experts say that such a tone at this stage of negotiations could have a negative effect on the possibility of a peace deal.
Besides, the President’s position on North Korea has been unpredictable, to say the least. While the White House has ruled out any possible negotiations with North Korea, President Trump has expressed open desire to meet Kim Jong-un.
However, the US has made it clear that it will not take anything less than a full abandonment of North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. Recent reports indicate that the Kim Jong-un regime has made significant progress in developing ICBMs that have the ability to reach the US.
As for the North Korean leader, a number of things will be up for discussion. Although experts agree that the recent sanctions have hit the regime hard, one of North Korea’s key concerns remains the joint military exercises between the US and South Korean forces.
Experts say that it is very likely that North Korea will request the abolishment of this program as part of any peace deal. Whether Trump will give in to this demand is a different matter altogether and it will not be a surprise if even after this diplomatic opening the US refuses to negotiate with North Korea. After all, going by the White House’s stance on North Korea the possibility of diplomatic solutions to the crisis has been dwindling in the last few months.
Nonetheless, diplomatic experts feel that this is a very good opportunity for the US to achieve a peace deal. Even though sanctions are working, failure by the US to show leadership in these talks could create loopholes for countries like China and Russia to weaken sanctions against Kim Jong-un’s regime. It’s a waiting game though and the stakes couldn’t be higher.