24 May 2018
Mr Shawn Ho, Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, talks about this extraordinary international political event.
Shawn feels that the tough rhetoric coming out of both Washington and N. Korea is only a pre-summit negotiation ploy. “Both countries, N. Korea and the US seem to want to hold this summit and this is just part of the pre-summit negotiations where both sides are trying to figure out the other side’s position, and trying to gain some concessions ahead of the actual summit ahead of June 12th.
The disagreements that are coming to light at the moment seem to concern first and foremost different understanding of the word ‘denuclearisation.’ The N. Koreans do not seem to think that the term means getting rid of all their nuclear weapons, but the development of further weapons. Shawn explains: “There are two different definitions of what denuclearisation means.”
Kim Jong-un has already made two trips to China, before meeting with the S. Korean President and with President Trump. To a certain extent, Shawn plays down the importance of China as being the power broker in the negotiations.
The possibility of war between the US and N. Korea is discussed. Whether China would actually come to N. Korea’s aid if the summit fails and the US takes a military option is not clear. Shawn says: “The Chinese might come to N. Korea’s aid but we don’t really know how China might react in this day and age. …By nature of the fact that Donald Trump was a businessman, he was a real estate developer, and has been involved in all kinds of business negotiations, he is really showing his experience in making business deals and being a very tough person to deal with.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 25/05/2018