8 Tiny Thoughts on the Singapore Summit

Women hold a banner in Paju, South Korea. A group of 30 women activists arrived in South Korea after a landmark crossing of the Demilitarized Zone from North Korea as a symbolic act of peace. (Xinhua/Jiang Ye)

I’ve been working on articles on North Korea and following the recent news closely about the Singapore meeting. I call it the Trump-Kim Summit  because it’s clearly about the two of them–not so much the U.S. and North Korea). Eight tiny thoughts:

  • It could have been much worse.
  • It pushes the nuclear clock back a few minutes.
  • It is a success because it opens dialogue.
  • Both leaders are inveterate liars.
  • The agreement to repatriate the remains of U.S. servicemen is an important symbolic step toward bringing the Korean War to a close.
  • The incentives for both parties are commercial–but worse things have been done for money.
  • The proof will be in the pudding.
  • This Summit is an answer to millions of people’s prayers. Let’s not waste the moment.
    Pax Christi International recommends follow-up talks include these key points if they are to actually lead towards disarmament and a durable peace:

  • Both countries should take conclusive steps towards complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, not only North Korea. The peninsula is not denuclearised if it remains under threat from U.S. nuclear weapons.
  • Both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and North Korea should rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is part of a five-step proposal for disarmament issued by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which includes Pax Christi International.
  • The U.S. and North Korea should pursue the successful completion of a peace treaty between both Koreas to replace the armistice from the Korean War, also as a follow-up of the historic Panmunjom Declaration of 27 April 2018.
  • The U.S. should raise concerns for human rights in North Korea as a condition to lift economic sanctions. Amongst other human rights abuses, up to 120,000 people continue to be arbitrarily detained in political prison camps. It is imperative that human rights are taken up in future talks, as their protection is intrinsically linked to peace and security.–Pax Christi International

If you ignore all the hoopla, here’s the agreement that Trump and Kim actually signed:

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

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 a new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peach 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 denuclarization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join the efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panumunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclerarization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DRPK summit – the first in history – was a epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint agreement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world. —The White House

P.S. A pre-edited version of the agreement, hot off the copier to distribute to press, showed the U.S. and DPRK  joining efforts to build a “lasting and stable peach regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

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