See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

For a successful summit, Trump must silence hawks

The Trump-Kim summit is set for next week in Singapore but Trump needs to rein in his hawks to ensure its success.


Written by

Updated: June 7, 2018

A few weeks ago we wrote that the inclusion of hawks on his foreign policy team means that Trump was more than likely going to antagonize the North Koreans.

People like Pompeo, Bolton and Giuliani had made public statements that threatened to derail the diplomatic process.

When the summit was initially cancelled, the North Koreans cited statements that Vice President Mike Pence had made which called for the US to use the Libya model of denuclearization with the Koreans.

As has been widely reported, the Libya model is problematic for regimes like the one in Pyongyang because of what eventually happened to Muammar Gaddafi and his government.

Of course, the idea of the Libya model did not come from Pence but came from Bolton. He was the first to mention it during a television interview which Pence and his staff then picked up.

Rapprochement

With the summit back on, both sides have made diplomatic overtures that they previously had been unwilling to make.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has “firm will” for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula after meeting with Kim.

“Following up from the Panmunjeom Declaration, Chairman Kim again stated his will for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said.

Trump for his part said that he believed in the economic potential of the North and offered more incentives for its denuclearization.

“I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day,” Trump wrote.

“Kim Jong-un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”

The US president has increasingly offered economic rewards in exchange for denuclearization, although the exact terms of any deal are unclear.

Silencing the hawks

With the summit set for June 12, the only thing that can (once again) derail the historic summit are the Hawks in Trump’s cabinet.

To his credit, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has toned down his rhetoric and has even expressed his optimism at the possible outcome of the summit.

However, others like Rudy Giuliani continue making ludicrous statements to the press.

Giuliani was caught making statements in Tel Aviv that North Korea had begged for the summit to proceed on their ‘hands and knees.’

Statements like these are problematic in normal diplomatic circles much less a sensitive regime like the one in Pyongyang.

It seems that President Trump is aware of the problem, however.

Hardliners on North Korea were not seen accompanying Trump when he greeted Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee and North Korean leader’s top aide, in the White House.

Kim, a former spy chief on the US sanctions list, flew to the US to have meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in preparation for North Korea-US summit. In Washington, he delivered a letter from North Korean leader to Trump.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence — both hawks on North Korea — did not take part in the meeting and were not seen around.

Trump has been seen keeping a distance from the “Libyan model” recently in an apparent attempt to appease North Korea worried about its regime security.

With rumours that Bolton will also not be appearing at the negotiating table in Singapore, perhaps the summit has a chance.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Diplomatic thaw prompted active inter-Korean exchanges in 2018

The number of South Koreans visiting the North and vice versa increased sharply to 7,498 in 2018 from 115 in 2017. South Korea greatly expanded exchanges and cooperation with North Korea last year, buoyed by a diplomatic thaw following three inter-Korean summits, according to a new white paper published by the Ministry of Unification on Thursday. The surge in visits was attributed to government initiatives to cooperate with the North on an inter-Korean railway connection project, a forestry project and various sports events. Social and cultural exchanges driven by civic groups and local governments also played a role, according to the 2019 White Paper on


By The Korea Herald
March 22, 2019

Diplomacy

Italy to play a key role as Belt and Road opens new doors across globe

Italy will be a major part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. East-West relations have entered a new phase. Global integration, with sustained increases in crossborder exchanges of goods, technology, knowledge and resources, has reshaped international relations, spurring economic development of traditionally marginal regions and encouraging economic convergence among poorer and richer areas. The phenomenon has received great impetus from the possibilities offered by technological progress and the increase in physical and digital connectivity, strongly enhanced by the modernization and innovation efforts of Asian countries. What we have seen and are still seeing, indeed, is not a simple shift of production from the West to the East, but a real change in production models. The production and consumption of goods and services have followed value chains that are no longer confined to a local scale, but are


By China Daily
March 22, 2019

Diplomacy

No sign of concrete policies for conflict in Thailand’s restive south

Parties offer few if any answers for a 15-year-old deadly insurgency that successive govts have failed to quell. Peace and conflict have never been significant parts of any political party platform in Thailand. This is because a sustainable solution calls for long-term commitment to a policy that could prove to be politically costly. Lasting peace requires self-reflection on the part of both the state and society. Policymakers have to rethink the policy of assimilation that has so far been rejected by the Malay Muslim populace of the southern border provinces because it comes at the expense of their cultural and religious identity. Full-fledged armed insurgency erupted in the far South in the 1960s, some 50 years after the signing of the Anglo-Siam Treaty that defined our current political borders. There was a brief calm in the 1990s, but the absence of violence did not mean peace. A new generat


By The Nation (Thailand)
March 22, 2019

Diplomacy

How competing masculinities inform Pak-India escalation

Devaluing the other in gender hierarchies often takes place through feminisation. Last month, tensions reigned high between neighbouring nuclear powers that share an ugly history of separation and bellicosity. Once more, India and Pakistan seemed to be at the brink of war. Airports were shut down, the Line of Control was violated, and de-escalation — especially in the newfound absence of dedicated third-party intervention — looked out of bounds for the most part. War-mongering through media outlets prevailed while fake and selective news circulated in this situation of crisis. Yet, it is baffling — if also not amusing — that even in such delicate moments, rhetoric of ‘putting them in their place’ was omnipresent on both sides. Similarly, a few months ago, when Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted his disappointment regarding peace talks with India, he chastised that he ha


By Dawn
March 21, 2019

Diplomacy

Moon holds meeting with US intelligence chief in Seoul

The meeting comes after the failed Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim. President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday met with US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in Seoul to discuss bilateral issues, Cheong Wa Dae said. According to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, Moon and Coats held an “in-depth and wide ranging discussion about current issues between South Korea and the US.” Coats’ visit is seen as aimed at sharing information and assessment of North Korea following the breakdown of last month’s summit between the two countries. Earlier, a local newspaper reported that Coats arrived at a US air base in Osan, south of Seoul,


By The Korea Herald
March 21, 2019

Diplomacy

Is Kim Jong-un considering ‘new way’?

Post Hanoi summit failure, speculation grows on what new mode of defense may be. Following the failure to reach an agreement at last month’s summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, tension has been building between the two sides, threatening the negotiations that they have built over the past year. While the breakdown of their second meeting did not lead to a war of words, North Korea said it was considering suspending talks with the United States, while Washington accused Pyongyang of “not doing what it needs to do.” The communist leader warned in his New Year’s speech this year he would have to find a new way for defending the North if the US did not keep its promises. As the US appears to have no intention of taking the “commensurate measures” the North seeks for the denuclearization steps it has taken, speculation has grown as to whether


By The Korea Herald
March 20, 2019