See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

Experts weigh in on collapse of talks

Experts in South Korea and beyond offer their take on the breakdown of negotiations.


Written by

Updated: March 1, 2019

United States President Donald Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed on Thursday (Feb 28) without an agreement between the two leaders, plunging future talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme into question.

“Sometimes, you have to walk,” Mr Trump said at a news conference in Hanoi after negotiations ended early, though he also said that “we had a really, I think, productive time”.

“It was about the sanctions. Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Mr Trump said.

OUTRIGHT FAILURE

“1. Summit is an outright failure. 2. But Trump made the right decision to push for more than minimal steps and take no deal over a bad deal. 3. However, not clear where it goes from here when leaders can’t agree. 4. No summit for a while.” – Dr Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, on Twitter.

‘SHORT-LIVED’ LOVE AFFAIR

“This may be the end of a ‘short-lived’ love affair between Trump and Kim. Despite Trump’s vowing that there may be more meetings in the future, in reality it will be very difficult for Trump to arrange another experimental summit meeting, due to mounting domestic opposition as well as his weakening political standing at home. He may not be able to muster extra political energy and time to pay attention to North Korea as he is mired with scandals and as he faces elections soon.” – Dr Lee Seong-hyon from the Sejong Institute think-tank in South Korea, in comments to The Straits Times.

TWO TEMPERAMENTAL MEN

“It is little wonder these negotiations broke down after Trump has spent more time in office blowing up nuclear treaties than building them. The failure of these talks is further evidence that denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula cannot be left with these two temperamental men. We need a real plan rooted in the international community and treaties like the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which the Koreas could join tomorrow and begin the disarmament process with legitimacy.” – Mr Akira Kawasaki, a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican), in comments to ST.

DIPLOMACY TAKES TIME

“It’s unfortunate that the Hanoi Summit did not lead to an agreement; however, failure to reach an agreement should not be taken as a sign that diplomacy is not working. Diplomacy has done far more to advance the security of the US and the Korean peninsula than economic coercion and threats of military force. Diplomacy takes time and obviously much more work remains to be done. Members of (the US) Congress can help guide the process in a more productive direction moving forward by supporting Representative Ro Khanna’s new legislation calling for the signing of a peace agreement and other important steps to advance the goals of peace and a denuclearised Korean peninsula.” – Mr Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action and coordinator of the Korea Peace Network.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

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

Pyongyang confirms ready to resume talks, but gives conditions

Foreign minister confuses lawmakers on whether North Korean leader’s letter to Trump was different to one already made public. The long-stalled US-North Korea working level talks on denuclearization could take place soon, a senior North Korea official signaled in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency on Monday that also set out conditions for the resumption of dialogue. The director general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s department of American affairs said working-level talks will likely take place in a few weeks. He said the two countries may forge closer relations or hostility depend on what Washington brings to the table. But he also set out a number of conditions.


By The Korea Herald
September 17, 2019

Diplomacy

President blames China for ‘suppressing Taiwan int’l space’

The Solomon Islands is the latest country to not recognise Taiwan. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) strongly condemned Solomon Islands’ decision to establish diplomatic relations with China in a major statement released on Monday. The president blamed China for using “financial and political pressure to suppress Taiwan’s international space” and called Beijing’s action “a threat,” but also a “brazen challenge and detriment to the international order.” Taiwan’s attitude towards its diplomatic allies has been one of sincere friendship, she said, stressing that Taiwan spares “no effort” and treats allies with “sincerity.” In the face of China’s alleged interference, however, she added that “we will not stand to be threatened, nor will we be subjected to ceaseless demands.” The president also stressed that Taiwan will not engage in “dollar diplomacy” with China


By ANN Members
September 17, 2019

Diplomacy

Rohingyas inside Myanmar still facing genocide threat: UN report

The report outlines a grim future for 600,000 or so Rohingya still trapped in Myanmar. Around 600,000 Rohingyas remaining inside Myanmar face systematic persecution and live under the threat of genocide, said the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar in a new report published today. “The threat of genocide continues for the Rohingyas remaining in Myanmar,” said Marzuki Darusman, chair of the Fact-Finding Mission. The Mission, which was formed by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, last year said its investigation had found “genocidal acts” in Myanmar’s “clearance operations” in 2017 that killed thousands and caused more than 740,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh. “Myanmar is failing in its obligation to prevent genocide, to investigate genocide and to enact effective legislation criminalizing and punishing genocide,” Darusman said.


By Daily Star
September 17, 2019

Diplomacy

‘War with India a possibility’, Imran Khan says

The comments come weeks after a Pakistani minister had reportedly predicted a ‘full-blown war between Pakistan and India likely to occur in the month of October or November’. Days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the possibility of an “accidental war” with India over the Kashmir issue cannot be ruled out, its Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he “absolutely believes” in such a consequence. While speaking to news channel Al Jazeera, Imran Khan raised the issue of Kashmir and said that there is a possibility of a conventional war with India that could go beyond the subcontinent. “So that’s why we have approached the United Nations, we are approaching every international forum, that they must act right now,” he said, adding that he “absolutely” believes war with India could be a possibility. “…this is a potential disaster that would go way be


By The Statesman
September 17, 2019

Diplomacy

Pakistan and India face common threats, climate change is the biggest one

Collective action may just be what is needed to secure the lives and livelihoods of future generations. Climate change is no longer limited to books or scientific papers; it is a reality knocking on our doors. Longer, sweltering summers bringing in record-breaking heat to South Asia are just one example. The harshest of conditions have yet to come, and the entire region is woefully unprepared to meet the challenges. While they may seem isolated, increasing instances of extreme weather are harbingers of a major climate shift for South Asia. Unlike transnational challenges like security and trade, climate change cannot be deterred by conventional methods or unilateral initiatives. Instead, synchronised common action is the viable way forward for sustainable progress to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Let’s look at some of the common environmental challenges facing Pakistan


By Dawn
September 17, 2019

Diplomacy

Iran rejects US claim it was behind Saudi oil strikes, says ready for war

All sides in the Middle East have stepped up their rhetoric in recent days. Iran dismissed accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting global energy supplies and warned on Sunday that US bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles. Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5 per cent of global supply, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally. The drone strikes on plants in the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, were expected to send oil prices up $5-10 per barrel on Monday as tensions rise in the Middle East. Iran’s President Hass


By Dawn
September 16, 2019