At approximately 9 pm Monday evening, President Donald Trump will sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and try to hash out what official North Korean state media is calling a decision on the implementation of a “peace-keeping mechanism.”
North Korea's state media says Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will discuss a "permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism" on the Korean Peninsula
— Phil Stewart (@phildstewart) June 10, 2018
Following media reports in the US for weeks that Trump would never manage to make a summit with Kim a reality — exacerbated by a decision from the White House in late May to cancel the proposed summit after negative comments about Vice President Mike Pence from North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs came to light — the two men are scheduled to meet in Singapore late Monday evening.
The White House released a statement Monday morning in preparation for the meeting. It read in part:
President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch.
The United States delegation at tomorrow’s expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch.
At the conclusion of the summit, President Trump will participate in a media availability before departing tomorrow at approximately 8 p.m. for the United States.
Pompeo indicated in an address last week that a priority for the administration is denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
.@SecPompeo: "The ultimate objective we seek from diplomacy with #NorthKorea has not changed. The complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the only outcome that the United States will accept." #SingaporeSummit pic.twitter.com/IOl8E3eU5g
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 11, 2018
Conservative Review reports that Trump also wants to soften relations between the two nations, at least to the extent that North Korea relaxes some of its “threatening posture towards the Western world.”
As for Pyongyang, CR says they want little more than to be legitimized (and maybe get those 30,000 American troops out of the country, something their Korean neighbors to the South hope doesn’t happen).
As for Pyongyang, the North Korean regime’s primary goal is to receive economic and diplomatic relief. United States sanctions, through a “maximum pressure” strategy against Pyongyang, have crippled North Korea’s ability to access global markets. The country’s economy has been in tatters for years, and Pyongyang has very few reliable trading partners. The U.S. has pledged to continue maximum pressure until North Korea commits to — and then acts upon — a verifiable denuclearization process.
On top of sanctions relief, Kim Jong Un wants his status as “supreme leader” of North Korea clearly recognized by the U.S. and the international community. Worldwide recognition of his supposed right to rule North Korea would allow Kim to secure his command over the country from internal and external threats.
There’s no way to speculate how successful the meeting will be, but if the administration is successful, it could very well go down as a first step in shifting trade and national security alliances with that region of the world.