Just published on Impakter – I try to dissect what really happened in Singapore and what it means:
Predictably, Trump gushed over his “historic summit” with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, making a string of optimistic declarations to reporters in Singapore. “I think both sides are going to be impressed with the result,” he said. “We’re going to take care of a very big and very dangerous problem for the world.” He claimed Kim’s commitment to denuclearization was “unwavering” and he added he would “absolutely” invite Kim to the White House to continue the talks.
No tweets yet, but plenty of videos of the event, here is the signing of the agreement – without releasing in advance the text to journalists:
At the follow-up news conference, it became apparent that, with the signing of the so-called “Singapore agreement”, the only thing of substance Trump obtained was that “working level talks” would now take place.
The point is this: They would have to take place within the framework of the agreement Trump and Kim Jong-un signed, just four points:
- to establish new U.S.-North Korean relations “in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity;”
- to join “efforts to build a lasting and stable peace” on the peninsula;”
- to reaffirm the declaration Kim signed at his summit with South Korea’s president on 27 April 2018; and
- to recover the remains of Americans lost or killed during the Korean War.
Good intents and vague words. But that’s OK, it allows for total flexibility. The game will now be played at the diplomatic “working level” – and that means it’s in the hands of Mike Pompeo. And Trump was quick to reaffirm in a news conference following the meeting that sanctions on North Korea would continue.
Not a bad result. Trump looks like he’s achieve some kind of victory, and Kim Jong-un likewise. But it’s a meagre win for Trump – not much more than face-saving.
Read the rest on Impakter, click here.