Sunday 18th March, 2018
9 ℃ | 17 ℃Tokyo

How prepared is America for cracking a deal with North Korea

Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 11th March, 2018

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Even as the U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to deliver a “good deal for the world” during his meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - many international experts were still questioning America’s preparedness for such a meeting.

Trump too to Twitter to confirm that North Korea had agreed not to test missiles "through our meetings" and that China and Japan are very supportive of the summit.

He said that Pyongyang has agreed to not conduct another missile test until after proposed meetings with its leader, Kim Jong Un, had taken place.

He said, "North Korea has not conducted a Missile Test since November 28, 2017 and has promised not to do so through our meetings. I believe they will honour that commitment!"

Earlier in the week, South Korean officials said that Trump had agreed to an invitation from Kim to meet by May.

However, ever since the announcement was first made, Trump has sought to rally international support for a potential summit, but the White House has been under fire for agreeing to talks.

Responding to the increasing criticism, the White House seemed to have made efforts to lay down some ground rules on Friday, claiming that no summit would occur unless Pyongyang took "concrete actions" over its nuclear program.

On Saturday, Trump said on Twitter and characterized the leaders of China and Japan as supportive of the potential dialogue.

However, he did little to clear up confusion over the timing of any talks and what preconditions would be required.

Trump said,“In the first hours after hearing that North Korea’s leader wanted to meet with me to talk denuclearization and that missile launches will end, the press was startled & amazed.They couldn’t believe it. But by the following morning the news became FAKE.They said so what, who cares!”

Later, referring to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump wrote, “Chinese President XI JINPING and I spoke at length about the meeting with KIM JONG UN of North Korea. President XI told me he appreciates that the US is working to solve the problem diplomatically rather than going with the ominous alternative. China continues to be helpful!"

Trump also tweeted, "Spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan, who is very enthusiastic about talks with North Korea. Also discussing opening up Japan to much better trade with the US Currently have a massive $100 Billion Trade Deficit. Not fair or sustainable. It will all work out!" 

On Friday, Trump had stated that a deal with North Korea "is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World. Time and place to be determined."

However, in an interview with the Dutch tabloid Algemeen Dagblad, former secretary of state and Trump’s presidential election rival Hillary Clinton questioned the administration’s readiness for the diplomatic challenge ahead.

She said, “If you want to talk to Kim Jong Un about his nuclear weapons you need experienced diplomats.”

She said the State Department was “being eroded,” and experienced diplomats on the North Korean issue were in short supply because many have left.

She added, “You cannot have diplomacy without diplomats. The danger is not being recognised by the Trump government.”

Even veteran diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson has warned that negotiating with North Korea was not “reality television.”

He said, “It’s a real opportunity... I worry about the president’s unpreparedness and lack of discipline. But I commend him for his very bold move in accepting the invitation. But this is not The Apprentice or a reality TV event. It’s a negotiation with an unpredictable leader who has at least 20 nuclear weapons and who threatens the United States.”

Meanwhile, reports stated that the Trump administration is already deliberating over the logistics and location of the meeting.

A senior State Department diplomat reportedly said that the most obvious venue is the Peace House, a conference building in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

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