Jun 15, 2018-
The leafy environs of Singapore have just witnessed one of the most bizarre events in modern international relations: the summit between North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. It was particularly bizarre because, not too long ago, the two leaders were publicly trading insults like bickering schoolboys. However, in Singapore, both men put on their best statesman face and talked of peace. Mr Trump pledged to end the “very provocative” military exercises the US stages with South Korea while Mr Kim reaffirmed his commitment to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. Peaceniks have hailed the meeting between the two erstwhile foes; indeed, talks are a much better alternative to the sabre-rattling both states have engaged in—in the recent past, both countries talked of destroying the other. So to pull back from the brink and talk peace can only be welcomed. However, international relations is rarely guided by optimism and good faith; cold, hard realpolitik is what actually rules relations between states. Therefore, the question emerges: what concrete steps will Pyongyang and Washington take to end the stalemate permanently and bring peace to the two Koreas? The joint statement released after the summit is short on details, but it is far too early to pass judgement on the long-term effects of the meeting.
Published: 15-06-2018 07:36