What’s the best-case and worst-case scenario we can hope for from the Trump-Kim commitment? And how can anyone be sure that North Korea is really denuclearizing? Well, for starters, the twosides would need toestablish what denuclearisation means, according to Bloomberg.
The historic meeting of the two world leadersin Singapore on Tuesday left many open questions. Bloomberg hosted a live chat about the Trump-Kim summit on the LINE messaging app, where people tuned in to have their questions answers by editors. Below is an abridged transcript.
Between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, who got the better deal?
Both Trump and Kim got things they want. Trump appears to have resolved the immediate threat of war and cast himself as a peacemaker. But Kim’s wins — suspended US military drills, new international status, improved relations with China and South Korea and talk of easing sanctions — are more substantial.
What are the chances that the Koreas will actually be united as one nation?
They’re better now than they were a year ago. But reconciling the two political systems is a daunting challenge. More likely is decades of economic and cultural integration before anything that could be described as unification is possible.
How will this change relations between the US and South Korea, particularly the presence of US troops?
Well, so far, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are pretty much in line. There are still few details about Trump’s decision to suspend US “war games” in South Korea, which could fuel discussion about a weakening of the alliance. While Trump has talked about lowering overseas troop deployments, he says that’s not on the table for South Korea right now.
What do we now know about Kim Jong Un that we didn’t know before, based on his presence at the summit?
We know that Kim is far less cautious about his public appearances than many had surmised. He didn’t look exactly comfortable strolling around Singapore’s tourist spots, surrounded by a phalanx of guards, but he spent more than two hours out on the town, and was happy to have those images published back in Pyongyang.
How can anyone be sure that North Korea is really denuclearizing? And how can the US make sure Kim will keep his commitments?
That’s perhaps the biggest of the many questions left unanswered by this joint statement on Tuesday. Not only was there no mention of verification and inspection, but the two sides didn’t establish what denuclearization means. Asked about this yesterday, Trump said: “I think he wants to get it done. I really feel that very strongly.”
Apart from denuclearization, could you give a quick recap of what was agreed to at the summit and what we need to watch for in the coming months?
There are four main points of the joint statement: You can read more hereon what’s in — and missing from — the joint statement.
Did Trump or Kim say anything about the human rights record of North Korea? How will this rapprochement affect ordinary North Koreans?
This question led to some of the most interesting exchanges during Trump’s sprawling news conference after the signing with Kim. First, Trump acknowledged that human rights was not a major topic during the meeting, saying it “was discussed relatively briefly compared to denuclearization.” When pressed later about whether he had betrayed the political prisoners in North Korean gulags, Trump suggested that improving relations would help them.