North Korea’s nuclear program is the only bargaining chip the highly trade-sanctioned country has with the United States. In his own strange way, President Kim Jong-un is trying to broker a peace deal with the United States. And according to South Korea, the sometimes out-of-control red leader means what he says this time. Kim’s goal, when he meets President Trump in May, is to establish diplomatic relations even if it means giving up the country’s nuclear arms program. According to North Korean studies Professor Koh Yu-hwan, President Kim wants a peace treaty so the six-decade conflict between the U.S. and North Korea will end.
Mr. Koh said there was talk about opening a peace treaty conversation in the past, but that conversation never materialized. Developing a peace treaty between these two mortal enemies is not easy. The U.S. presence in South Korea is an issue that needs attention. The UN also has a presence on the border between North and South Korea. In order for the Trump-Kim meeting to happen, both sides will have to show good faith. Trump is holding the strongest hand in terms of North Korea needing the U.S. more than the U.S. needs North Korea. But Trump will have to tone his rhetoric down if he wants to make progress during the meeting, according to the experts who study Kim’s political and global movements.
South Korea is also preparing for a meeting with the North. Both countries had a break-through moment when they participated in the Olympics. The South wants to keep the good vibes between their countries flowing in spite of what happens with the Trump meeting, according to some Korean news reports. People living in South Korea have family members living in North Korea, and the quest to bring those families together is still a priority for South Korea.
Many people say a meeting between Kim and Trump won’t happen because they both have a tendency to speak before they think. Trump needs this meeting to solidify his power as a deal maker as well as an international peacemaker. Kim needs the meeting to show his humility, and his willingness to act peacefully. But both men are wild cards. And that’s what makes this get together so interesting. But no one will know for sure whether these two ego-centric characters will come together in a way that produces peace.