Ahead of Friday’s Summit between North and South Korea, Will There be Progress?

The world seems to be optimistic about the upcoming dialogues between the United States, South Korea, and North Korea, and the important step of both parties acknowledging that something needs to change is a welcomed sight. However, as I have said before, the United States is often more comfortable with making demands and not giving up anything itself, and diplomacy requires that both parties compromise. Will we see a change of course on the Korean Peninsula? Perhaps we will, especially if the White House turns to Syria and Iran as the next victims of American imperialism.

On April 13, roughly a week after the alleged chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people by the Assad regime, the executive branch of the United States government launched airstrikes in a war without congressional approval targeting what it claimed were a few facilities that were used in producing and testing these types of agents and weapons. There was bad luck, as it appears that the attacks did little harm to the Syrian government, but it proved to be a way to impress neoconservatives, war hawks, and the military-industrial complex, all of which need to act tough and constantly have an enemy to justify their warmongering agenda and bloated profits. Ultimately, the United States government is concerned with ridding the country of Assad and reducing the influence of Iran in the region. All of this could mean that North Korea will be out of the sniper scope for a while because the government does not want to undertake too many regime-change projects simultaneously.

Having a deal between the United States and North Korea would be wonderful, but it is likely that the United States will accept nothing short of the complete dismantling of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program, long-range missile testing, and reduction of short and medium-range missiles that allegedly threaten Japan and South Korea. North Korea may get an easing of economic sanctions, which would bolster the regime, and in turn, it would make life better for the people. Yet, the United States will likely keep some of its troops south of the DMZ and continue some military exercises along the border. At the pre-negotiation stage, it seems like North Korea will get little in exchange for what it may have to offer up. Kim may not agree to this, and if he does not, the status on the peninsula will not have changed. It may be that the two leaders have a current misunderstanding of the situation because President Trump is convinced that North Korea is on the path to denuclearization, which is not exactly what Kim indicated. He did say that he would be willing to halt the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles and that he would close down a nuclear testing site, but this does not mean that he will denuclearize his country completely.

As the summit between both Koreas gets underway, let us cheer on policy makers from both countries as they attempt to negotiate an understanding, but at the same time, understand that accomplishing a positive outcome will not be easy. On Friday, Kim will make his way across the border to the Southside of the DMZ, and this will be a prelude to the much-anticipated conference between Trump and Kim that will take place soon. The summit between the United States and North Korea may end up being just a way to try to save face. If President Trump can claim that he attempted to negotiate with Kim but that the latter is irrational and cannot be negotiated with, it could be used as justification for war down the road, or this whole thing could be a way to delay war with North Korea until after the current Syrian and Iranian governments have been taken out of the picture. Let us hope that these negotiations are genuine and that the United States will be willing to compromise on the concerns of the Kim regime, but if nothing comes of it, I guess it will be business as usual.

Thank you for reading, and if you are interested in reading more of my material, please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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Published on April 26, 2018 03:28
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