On Monday, President Trump will be heading to Vietnam where he will be meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un for the second Korean peace summit.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Trump will look to make concrete efforts for North Korea to denuclearize. While Trump was believed to have achieved this goal after the first Korean peace summit, negotiators between the two countries have been unable to agree on how much or even what progress should be made towards denuclearization before sanctions are removed.
There have been no nuclear tests or ICBM tests since the first meeting, which Trump often pats himself on the back for. The WSJ reports that North Korea has “closed its Punggye-ri nuclear test site; it has begun to dismantle the Tongchang-ri site, where it tests engines for its liquid-fueled rockets.”
From the WSJ:
A top U.S. goal is to persuade Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear weapons and missile programs while the two sides continue far-reaching talks encompassing denuclearization and punitive international sanctions.
The talks, which will take place in Hanoi, mark a historic attempt to bring North Korea into the international community, offering it a set of conditions that, if satisfied, may allow it to engage politically and economically with other countries around the world.
According to the report, the U.S. and South Korea have made progress pushing North Korea towards the idea of peace and denuclearization but the country’s physical effort has lagged behind.
Mr. Kim promised a further move in his New Year’s address in January, saying North Korea would neither make nor proliferate nuclear weapons. Such unilateral gestures have improved the atmosphere for the summit but weren’t codified in an agreement—and could be reversed.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress in January that U.S. experts are still observing activity “inconsistent with full denuclearization.” And many within the administration, including some top Trump advisers, remain skeptical of North Korea’s commitment.
“North Korea has given us little indication that they have yet made the decision to completely dismantle and destroy that capability,” Stephen Biegun, Mr. Trump’s special envoy on North Korea issues, said in a speech last month at Stanford University.
Trump has echoed his desire to meet with Kim Jong-Un to put back on track the historic peace effort his administration is leading. Trump has also praised North Korea and its leader on Twitter and said both can be even better if they pursue peace.
The first peace summit between the United States and North Korea was historic in that no president has met with the leader of North Korea since the Korean War.
Here’s more on the first peace summit and the agreement formed, via the White House:
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.–DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
- The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.–DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
- The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
- Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
- The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.