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U.S. experts sharply split overTrump-Kim summit outcomes

U.S. experts sharply split overTrump-Kim summit outcomes

Posted June. 14, 2018 07:26,   

Updated June. 14, 2018 07:26

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U.S. experts are sharply dividedover the June 12 joint declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump and NorthKorean leader Kim Jong Un. USA Today reported that there had been few instancesin U.S. history where experts and media outlets were so extremely confronted. Whileformer U.S. ambassadors to South Korea or major media outlets such as the NewYork Time are critical of the North Korea-U.S. summit outcomes, experts withlinks to the Republican Party are mostly positive.

There are strong criticisms thatthe summit agreement lacked any substantial mention of the North’s denuclearizationand does not include any mention of the denuclearization schedule, verificationand implementation procedures. "I suppose President Trump would get anincomplete ... for Chairman Kim Jong Un, it's an A+," David Adelman,former U.S. ambassador to Singapore, said in an interview with CNBC. He noted thatwhile Kim won Trump’s promise to halt joint military exercises with South Korea,the U.S. president won nothing but a denuclearization promise that lacked anyconcrete schedule.

“Chances are we’re basically backto the same old rodeo with North Korea,” said Michael Green, senior vicepresident for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic andInternational Studies. Despite the mention of “complete denuclearization” inthe agreement, Kim does not attach much significance to it, he said.

However, other experts view thesummit as a success, noting that the fact that Washington and Pyongyang endedlong hostility and agreed to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue throughdialogue is a significant result. Aidan Foster Carter, an honorary professor atLeeds University, said that while the agreement was “disappointing,” it wasstill better than the extreme confrontation and war threats between Trump andKim. Wang Junsheng, a research fellow at the National Institute ofInternational Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing,China, said that the declaration of a joint agreement itself has a “monumental”meaning.

Despite the divided views, both thecritics and the optimists agree that what steps Washington and Pyongyang willtake in the future is more important. The Washington Post reported that the Trump-Kimsummit is “only the opening, a first step in what could be lengthy anddifficult negotiations between the two nations.” The Wall Street Journal saidthat the summit paved the way for a quick start of high-level talks and a verificationprocess for Pyongyang’s denuclearization.


Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com