On Tuesday, US President, Donald Trump, announced during the 2019 State of The Union address at Congress that he is expecting to hold the second nuclear summit between the US and North Korea on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam. Although the president did not give any clues regarding what will be expected to be on the table this time round, the second summit is a much welcome idea that helps ease tensions between the two countries that have otherwise, in the last five years, been under intense nuclear tensions.
Even as the summit is expected to present a new wave of optimism for continual peace during the denuclearization period, the US must be cautious of North Korea on various key aspects. The country’s presumptive leader, Kim Jong Un, has been largely and practically cooperative with the ongoing talks between the two sides. He has, on numerous occasions, expressed his support for the talks and has the willingness to meet the US side anytime and anywhere.
Kim has, however, repeatedly warned the US not to exercise and exert more pressure on North Korea by pursuing to sanction the country as a way of compelling it to abandon its nuclear programs. Kim also reiterated his willingness to unilaterally comply with the denuclearization demands.
The US should remain ardent and make it clear to the North Korea side in regard to what it means by ‘denuclearization.’ It has, on several occasions, been suspected that the North Korean definition of what denuclearization entails is or could be significantly different from what the US and other superpowers believe. It is upon the United States, during the second summit, to make it clear to North Korea on what is expected of the country, even has it seeks to embark on a massive denuclearization initiative.
The US, however, has made it clear that it intends to keep up piling pressure or North Korea and until Kim achieves a comprehensive and full shutdown of the country’s nuclear arsenal. Even as the country weighs the options that it can present to North Korea, the US needs to beware of two major concerns.
Firstly, a war in North-East Asia is the last thing that anyone wants. Secondly, the US should be significantly worried about being blackmailed by North Korea.
In either of these concerns, the United States should remain vigilant and ardent on its policies of deterring North Korea at all cost, while exercising the necessary level of due diligence and patience.