On January 18, the White House announced that President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-un are to meet in a second summit by the end of February. Although the plan is being finalized, it is known that the summit will be held in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang. The announcement follows after White House discussions with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator in the peace talks.
The announcement of the summit comes shortly after the announcement of the Pentagon’s new Missile Defense Review, which states that North Korea remains an “extraordinary threat” to the United States despite the president’s assurance that the Singapore summit and talks between North and South Korea resulted in a diminished threat.
“While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the United States must remain vigilant,” states the Pentagon in the assessment. “Over the past decade, it has invested considerable resources in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and undertaken extensive nuclear and missile testing in order to realize the capability to threaten the US homeland with missile attack. As a result, North Korea has neared the time when it could credibly do so.”
Despite dismantling both its nuclear and missile engine testing facilities, North Korea did test out a “high tech” tactical weapon in November 2018. However, the threat lies in what is unknown, as officials are unsure of how many nuclear facilities remain in the program’s network of missile bases.
According to North Korea’s KCNA
But North Korea and the United States are not alone in these negotiations. China and South Korea both have been key players as talks have progressed-and stalled. Leading up to the announcement of a second summit, Chinese and South Korean officials called for concessions from both countries. Although it has its own goals from talks with Kim Jong-un, including complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace by officially ending the Korean War, South Korea has been integral to discussions between Kim and Trump. South Korea South Korean President Moon Jae-in supports his country’s cooperation with the international community in order to ease sanctions in an attempt to promote better inter-Korean relations. The Moon administration hopes that by easing sanctions, there will be more opportunity for inter-Korean ventures for business and tourism expansion and cultural exchange. However, more “bold steps” of action towards denuclearization are needed from North Korea in order to earn more concessions from the United States.
“I think North Korea knows that they clearly have to denuclearize for the easing of international sanctions, and the U.S. also understands that there needs to be
Despite United Nations Security Council resolutions, North Korea has been developing nuclear and missile programs, calling for the United States to not only lift
On the other side, China and President Xi Jinping are North Korea’s
Many officials emphasize the positive effects this summit will have on further diplomatic talks and the state of the international community. The second summit is a major step towards reinforcing talks between the two countries. Relations between the United States and South Korea grew tense in late 2018, despite the relatively positive atmosphere of the first summit in Singapore. Since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s November meeting with senior official Kim Jong Chol was