‘For the Good of Both Parties, but to the Detriment of the World’

  • 25 May 2018
  • Posted in: Management & Leadership, Planning & Development, Energy & Environment

The widely anticipated summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un will not be going ahead on June 12th in Singapore.

In a letter from the President of the United States addressed to ‘His Excellency’ Kim Jong Un, Trump outlined his reasoning for the US’ withdrawal from face-to-face negotiations between the two nuclear states:

“We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

The letter was sent on Thursday, June 24th, the same day on which North Korea hosted a contingency of international journalists to witness the dismantling of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Punggye-ri served as the location of all six nuclear tests carried out by the DPRK government, the most recent of which, produced a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Pyongyang and registered across the state-border in China. The well-publicised demolition was a gesture on behalf of the North Korean government to demonstrate its commitment to halt nuclear tests ahead of the summit with Donald Trump.

Despite this gesture, de-nuclearization has, it would seem, been the unconquerable obstacle that has led to the unravelling of the planned summit. On Friday morning (UK), the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister made a statement that highlighted the DPRK’s continued commitment to the summit: “We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues anytime and in any format,” North Korea’s vice foreign minister Kim Kye-gwan said in a statement. “Our commitment to doing our best for the sake of peace and stability for the world and the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the US.”