Although widely derided by the Washington Establishment as an empty photo opportunity, the recent meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un at Panmunjom produced an agreement to resume working-level talks in the near future. According to the North Korean news agency KCNA, the two leaders discussed stumbling blocks in improving relations and easing tensions, and agreed to work towards a “breakthrough in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and in the bilateral relations.”
President Trump’s hasty decision to pull the plug on the Hanoi Summit ahead of schedule came as a stunning surprise. The feeling of disappointment in those who were hoping for success contrasted with the sense of relief in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, which remains steadfastly opposed to any improvement in relations.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un on September 18-20 culminated in the signing of the Pyongyang Declaration, which marked a significant advance towards peace and heralded a welcome warming in relations. Since that time, however, contradictions within the Trump administration’s North Korea policy threaten to forestall further progress and test the patience of its South Korean ally.
In one of the most important diplomatic breakthroughs in a generation, the leaders of North and South Korea met and pledged to denuclearize the peninsula and to formally end the Korean War. Even the most optimistic observers were surprised at the scope of the meeting, which took place on the South Korean side of the border at Panmunjom. President Trump later issued a statement saying that he was looking forward to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks or months.
Trump yesterday agreed to talks with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong-Un. This comes quickly after DPRK announced early this week that they’re willing to freeze their nuclear program for talks with the US.