By Chinaka Okeke
The recent comment by the US President Donald Trump, when he said he would be “very disappointed” in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, if reports about rebuilding a rocket launch site in North Korea proved true, puts a question mark on whether the rising diplomacy between the two countries would fail.
Trump’s comments came as new activities were detected at a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile plant.
Analysts viewed that there is a lack of trust in the relations between the two countries. This is largely because the second summit between Trump and Kim occurred on February 27 and 28, 2019 in Vietnam regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, ended abruptly without an agreement.
The development has created a worrisome thought: as whether the North Korea leader is honest in dealing with the United States.
However, Trump through his top political officer has said U.S is still open to talk more with Mr. Kim.
Political and diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States have been historically hostile since the Korean War. And during his presidency, George W. Bush, referred to North Korea as part of “the Axis of Evil” because of the threat of its nuclear capabilities.
In recent years, the US-North Korea relations have been seriously deteriorated by North Korea’s tests of nuclear weapons. Just as its development of long-range missiles capable of striking targets thousands of miles away, and its ongoing threats to strike the United States and South Korea with nuclear weapons and conventional forces worsened the lifeless relationship.
Due to the cracked relationship between the two, Sweden acts as the protecting power of United States interests in North Korea for consular matters since the Korean War. And while U.S has maintained a strong military presence in South Korea, it also considered, de jure, South Korea as the sole legitimate representative of all of korea .
In 2017, there was a significant tensions and amplified rhetorics between the two countries following the emergence of Donald Trump’s presidency. And this was attributed to a feeling that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was developing at a faster rate than previously thought.
Expectedly, the increasing rhetorics and Trump’s more aggressive approach to handling North Korea’s missiles testing and increasing military presence on the Korean Peninsula sparked speculation of a nuclear conflict.
But interestingly, North Korea and the United States of America have started off some formal diplomacy after the first Trump-Kim in 2018.
Despite fears of a massive conflict, a detente began to develop when on March 8, 2018, the White House confirmed that Trump would accept a meeting invitation from Kim Jong-un. And a meeting was scheduled in May.
But to the amazement of the world that was keenly watching, North Korea on May 15, 2018 cut off talks with South Korea and threatened to cancel the planned U.S -North Korea summit; and cited military exercises between the United States and South Korea as the reason behind its action.
This cancellation was quickly reversed when Trump received an uncharacteristically friendly reply from Kim. And on June 12, 2018, Trump and Kim met at the summit in Singapore, the very first summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries. Over the course of the summit, the two leaders engaged in several discussions and signed a joint statement calling for security, stability, and lasting peace.
A second summit between Trump and Kim occurred on February 27 and 28, 2019 in Vietnam regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, but ended abruptly without an agreement.
As the most useful oldest mechanism when it comes facilitating peaceful co-existence among the countries of the world, more ventures of diplomacy is highly in need between the two countries. And it must be sincerely fashioned towards achieving a progressive peaceful coexistence for the entire Korean Peninsula. Because any form of insincerity for self gain would cripple peace in the region for many more decades.