On June 11, 2018, United States President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore. This was the first meeting between a sitting U.S. President and a North Korean leader in decades. The meeting resulted in a joint statement between the two leaders.
North Korea agreed to a freeze of nuclear testing in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea freezing its military exercises. In the short term, this is a big success for peace and stability in the region.
Long-term, the United States may finally begin to establish diplomatic and possibly economic relations with North Korea, making any potential future conflict less likely, and giving Koreans hope for a better future.
The major criticism of the Singapore Summit is President Trump’s failure to force North Korea to make improvements when it comes to human rights, as well as releasing prisoners of war, an issue that matters a lot to Japan.
There were also no concrete steps towards denuclearization, only vague statements, which many diplomats will require to entertain the idea of establishing closer ties with North Korea.
Additionally, the summit with North Korea established a precedent that pursuing a nuclear weapons program may eventually grant your country diplomatic and economic ties with the U.S..
Although more work needs to be done, the situation undeniably looks better than it did six months ago. We must credit South Korean President Moon and U.S. President Trump for this positive development.
Overall, this summit gets everyone closer to South Korea’s ultimate goal to reunite the Korean peninsula.