What a difference a year makes. In the last few hours Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a document committing to “work towards the complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.
The BBC has reported the four key points from the Trump-Kim Declaration as follows:
- The United States and the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
- The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
- Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
- The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Trump, sitting alongside the Korean leader, told reporters, “We’re very proud of what happened today. Our whole relationship with North Korea and the Korean peninsula will be a much different situation than it has in the past.”
Kim said through a translator, “We’ve decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.” “Thank you very much, that was fantastic,” Mr Trump told Kim as they smiled and shook hands.
Trump added that he would “absolutely” invite Kim to the White House and that denuclearization would start “very quickly” and that he had a “special bond” with the Korean dictator.
The response from media to the ‘summit of the Century’ has been mixed but largely positive. Few would deny that today’s meeting is a historic breakthrough in relations. However, some commentators are questioning how different today’s agreement is from commitments made by the North Korean leader earlier in the year and lament that today’s statements don’t include a concrete commitment to denuclearisation. Others note that President Obama was largely castigated for suggesting a meeting with the Korean leader while Trump is being hailed as a hero by right wing news services.
Both sides will likely claim victories here. Both leaders have achieved something. However, given their erratic natures who is to say this won’t all blow up in a twitter storm in coming weeks or months.
Trump is due to take questions from he world’s media imminently. Stay tuned.