27 May 2018
South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed the scrapped US-North Korea summit in a surprise meeting yesterday, just a day after US President Donald Trump hinted that the summit could be back on.
Dr Graham Ong-Webb, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the Moon administration was not only frustrated by Mr Trump’s unilateral decision to cancel, but also facing public pressure to do something about it.
“There is a sense that President Moon was played out by President Trump and President Moon may be getting even and preventing South Korea from getting sidelined in pre-summit negotiations,” he told The Sunday Times. “With the realisation that President Trump will do whatever he deems to be in the US’ best interest without consulting others, President Moon decided that he has to do what he thinks is in South Korea’s best interests regardless of the US.”
Dr Ong-Webb added that Mr Moon wants to see the US-North Korea summit happen and will likely encourage Mr Kim to avoid abrasive statements and stay on course.
“Critics may say that President Moon has ended up pandering to Mr Kim Jong Un but I read this as President Moon exercising autonomy and strength. He has stepped up to the plate and has demonstrated that South Korea’s role is actually indispensable.”
GPO / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 31/05/2018