When the United States announced that it would meet with North Korea for the North Korea-U.S. summit in Singapore on June 12th, the world was closely watching with excitement as the announcement marked a historic first: the meeting would be the first time that leaders of both countries would meet face-to-face. Such a meeting showed promise to the world that North Korea was actually committed to denuclearization and the possibility for peaceful political dialogue with nations such as South Korea and the U.S.
The hope had been fueled by North Korea’s prior historic meeting with South Korea on April 27. The sit-down between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in marked a breakthrough in the decades-long hostility between the two Koreas. Kim Jong-un seemed to finally be opening up to peaceful dialogue as it was reported he said, “We should not be confronting each other, we are the same people and should live in unity. I hope we will be able to live very peacefully in the future, as soon as possible.” Kim Jong-un’s speech seemed to reflect a turning tide in international political ties among countries, so when the U.S. on May 10th, announced that the summit would take place on June 12th, many remained hopeful that North Korea and the U.S. would finally be able to resolve nuclear issues.
However, hope that the two countries would meet stayed in the balance as hostilities between North Korea and the U.S. continued to flare as the June 12 date steadily approached. North Korea continued to express its dislike for the the U.S.-South Korea military drill, and tensions further flared as North Korea criticized both National Security Advisor John Bolton and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Yet, despite these criticisms, North Korea went ahead to display its commitment to denuclearization by destroying its Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site. However, on the same day, President Trump decided to call off the summit, causing confusion as to what exactly was going to happen to the North Korea-U.S. summit.
This confusion has been furthered by President Trump’s recent announcement on June 1st that the summit is back on and scheduled for June 12th at Singapore. Despite the meeting being back on, some are wary as to whether the meeting will bring fruitful changes. Tensions continue to flare as President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, stated how Kim Jong-un supposedly got “on his hands and knees and begged” for the U.S. to reconsider the summit.
While this meeting will take place, many remain realistic and expect that the meeting may possibly bring little changes to the relations between North Korea and U.S. Hopefully, the summit will finally calm both countries as they attempt to achieve peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Justin Kim, Grade 12
Loyola High School