Kim Jong-Un/Trump Summit 2.0: Hold the Cheers
Both leaders will meet in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 27 and 28).
Over eight months after last June’s summit, all the DPRK has to show for it is empty US promises – as expected, nothing concrete achieved.
Weeks ahead of last year’s Kim/Trump summit I said if past is prologue, there’s little to be encouraged about.
Throughout the post-WW II period, Washington has been militantly hostile toward North Korea – for its sovereign independence and ties to China, not for any threat it poses
The DPRK seeks normalized relations with the West and all other countries. It’s at peace with its neighbors, never having attacked another country preemptively, what the US does repeatedly.
Earlier talks with Pyongyang failed. Promises the US made were broken, this time proving no different so far.
What’s most important to North Korea in return for abandoning its nuclear deterrent, developed solely for defense, is iron-clad security guarantees to be free from the threat of another catastrophic war on its territory.
They’re unattainable from the US based on its belligerent history, especially beyond reach from the most hardline regime in its history, wanting all sovereign independent governments eliminated.
Key for Trump hardliners is breaking or altering North Korea’s relationship with China, its most reliable ally, wanting the DPRK transformed into a US vassal state, an unattainable objective.
The possibility of reaching a historic North Korea/US agreement from this week’s summit talks and what follows is virtually nil.
US history is clear – a record of breached treaties, conventions and other deals, betraying other countries time and again.
Examples are endless. GHW Bush’s secretary of state James Baker’s “iron-clad” pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO “one inch eastward” toward Russia’s borders was flagrantly breach by succeeding US regime’s post the Soviet Union’s December 1991 dissolution.
Today, US-led NATO forces surround Russia, posing a major threat to its security. The same goes for China and Iran.
Can North Korea fare better than these countries in dealing with US officials? Can any sovereign independent country expect good faith relations with Washington?
Earlier US promised aid in return for DPRK denuclearization ended in betrayal
A 1994 Agreed Framework was negotiated between both countries. Pyongyang agreed to freeze and replace its nuclear power plant program with a light water nuclear reactor, along with steps toward normalizing relations with Washington.
The Clinton co-presidency agreed to build two light-water reactors by 2003. In the interim, it would supply Pyongyang with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel annually.
US sanctions would be lifted. The DPRK would be removed from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list. Both countries agreed to provide “formal assurances” against threatened or actual use of nuclear weapons.
Pyongyang agreed to allow Washington to monitor its nuclear sites. The deal collapsed after GW Bush called North Korea, Iran, and Iraq an axis of evil in his first State of the Union address.
The DPRK upheld its part of the deal. Washington systematically breached it, reneging on its word. North Korea responded by resuming its plutonium enrichment program.
Its nuclear weapons deterrent was developed because Washington can’t be trusted – not earlier, now, or ever unless or until evidence it proves otherwise. None so far exists.
In August 2003, so-called six-party talks were initiated, involving America, China, Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea.
In 2005, Pyongyang pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.” In 2009, talks broke down following disagreements over verification, along with international condemnation of a DPRK ballistic missile test – what many other countries do without criticism of their programs.
North Korea responded to the breakdown in talks, saying it would never reengage in diplomacy accomplishing nothing. Nor was it bound by earlier agreements.
US hostility, toughness and betrayal defined bilateral relations for years throughout the country’s history. Pyongyang earlier said “if the US has a will to drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK, it will have dialogue…The ball is in the court of the US side.”
The key stumbling block isn’t what Washington pledges. It’s what happens next following agreements – breaching them time and again, the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal and INF Treaty the latest examples.
Post-WW II US/North Korea relations were marked by US hostility and betrayal following agreements, the DPRK falsely blamed for Washington’s duplicity.
Will this time be different dealing with the likes of Pompeo and Bolton, rabid North Korea haters, hostile to all non-US client state governments, world peace and stability.
Bolton earlier said, “(t)he only longterm way to deal with (Pyongyang’s) nuclear weapons program is to end (the) regime.” He never met a foreign policy problem he didn’t want addressed by bombing.
In February 2018 as a neocon American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, he falsely called North Korea an “imminent threat,” adding:
“It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.”
A year later, his militant view likely remains unchanged, including against other sovereign independent countries.
What are the prospects for normalized DPRK/US relations under Trump? What chance does world peace have given Washington’s rage for endless wars?
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”