As the world anxiously anticipated the summit between North Korea and America, the two suspended the historic meeting. North Korea has now said they are willing to meet and hold the summit while the US and Donald Trump are hesitant to hold it.
The US suspended the summit with North Korea because they wanted the US to sign an agreement stating that the US would have to reduce, and potentially remove, all economic and military sanctions from both North and South Korea. However, South Korea is discussing with North Korea about keeping the sanctions so that the summit can occur.
The last time a North Korean leader entered South Korea prior to April of this year was at the end of the Korean War, which ended 65 years ago in July, 1953. After years of conflict, both President Jae-in and Supreme Leader Jong Un walked across the border between North and South Korea to establish peace on Friday, April 27, 2018.
Just a few weeks before North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump, North Korean leaders met again with South Korean leaders including President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday, May 16. The two nations agreed to establish peace and unity.
Government teacher Mr. Jared Ettinger said, “A stable Korea is good for global peace. It’ll ease tensions in that area and around the world…it’ll be a great thing if it actually comes to fruition. The issue with countries like this is you hear one thing but it might not be followed through with…it’s one of those things where we’ll believe it when we see it.”
A teacher who has previously taught AP Comparative Government, Mr. Eric Duke, also shared his thoughts on the subject. “It legitimizes North Korea’s behavior and it encourages other nations to behave in this manor.”
The steps taken are already beginning to create peace between the two countries. The first and most noticeable change is the absence of propaganda used against each other. The biggest and most internationally influential change is Kim Jong Un’s claim that he will halt his nuclear launch program in North Korea.
Mr. Duke stated another opinion in relation to the denuclearization of North Korea. “I am cautiously skeptic… I don’t know of any countries who have willingly given up their nuclear power without being given something.”
While people are warily optimistic about these denuclearization claims, they have been discussed before and failed to change the mindsets of the Asian nations. In 2000, North and South Korea met and North Korea said they would stop their nuclear program. However, they continued to develop their missiles in secret until they openly started to test their nuclear missiles.
The official summit between the US and North Korea is set to take place on June 12. This will be the first time since the Korean War that the standing president of the United States will meet with the standing leader of North Korea.
President Trump was previously talking about reducing the military sanctions on North Korea but later tweeted, “Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached.”
On Sunday, May 6th, North Korea questioned the accuracy of Trump’s claims, saying they might not actually be true. Trump responded by stating he would reduce military sanctions as an excuse for the summit to become a friendlier endeavor.
Mr. Duke commented, “I think this is an issue between North and South Korea… how do you think we would feel if someone told us how to deal with another nation? This has been an issue for them since 1950, let them come to terms with this, let them deal with each other.”
North and South Korea are both concerned about these potentially misleading claims because they plan to denuclearize the entire peninsula. The denuclearization will not take place if the US is not going to reduce the sanctions because North and South Korea do not want to be without protection with the threat of the US’ strong military inside of the countries.
With the suspended peace summit between North Korea and the US, tensions run high as the world waits for the outcomes.