Trump and Kim summit: Pushing for denuclearization on the agenda

In his tweet before he embarked to Vietnam, US president Donald Trump said he looked forward to a ‘very productive meeting’ with Kim Jong Un.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US president Donald Trump Source: Bloomberg

The agenda on the table for the second historic meeting between the United States (US) president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam this week will be to work towards a denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

Before Mr Trump had departed for Vietnam from Washington, US on Tuesday, he spoke positively on a ‘very tremendous summit’, and the US ‘want(s) denuclearization’ on the Korean peninsula.

In his tweet, Mr Trump said he looked forward to a ‘very productive meeting’.

But just days ago, Mr Trump had appeared apprehensive on the meeting and dampened the expectations on breakthrough results from the meeting. ‘The sanctions are on. Everything is on. But we have a special feeling and I think it will lead to something very good. Maybe not,’ Mr Trump had said at a White House event.

‘I don't want to rush anybody. I just don't want testing. As long as there's no testing, we're happy,’ he added.

South Korean officials said that both the US and North Korea could agree on a joint political statement declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War to build trust between both countries, a New York Times article reported. Mr Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in told the paper: ‘The possibility is open’.

Mr Kim arrived on Tuesday after a marathon train journey which took two-and-a-half days and trudged 4,000 kilometres. Mr Trump is due to arrive by plane in the president’s Air Force One later in the evening.

Mr Trump will meet Mr Kim for dinner in Hanoi on Wednesday before the talks begin the next day, the White House said.

Historic meeting in June but progress has not been concrete

In June, both parties met in a first historic meeting in Singapore but many observers dismissed the first meeting as a piece of political theatre with no concrete developments on denuclearization.

At the summit in June, the two leaders signed a joint agreement in which their countries committed to work towards ‘a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula’ but the lack of progress the many months since then has drawn criticism.

A history of war, half a century of dispute

The US has long been demanding for North Korea to give up its nuclear powers in a half-century standoff.

In 1945, the Korean peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel between the Soviet-backed regime of Kim Il-Sung in the North and a South under the protection of the US.

The North Korea and the US have remained in conflict since the halting of the Korean War in a truce in 1953. There are still more than 28,000 US troops in South Korea to prevent the war from reigniting.

North Korea has been firing missile and nuclear tests since then, drawing tensions between the North and South of Korea as well as the US, the governing body for global diplomacy.

North Korea has offered to dismantle its nuclear complex in Yongbyon, the country’s major nuclear facility, but said it would do so only when the US takes ‘corresponding’ trust-building measures.

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