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Last Updated : Mar 02, 2019 08:34 AM IST | Source:

Explained | Why the Trump-Kim talks were much ado about nothing?

Watch the video to know how the US-North Korea talks are back to square one.

One of the most anticipated and discussed international political development this week was the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam. Both the leaders met at the historic Metropole Hotel for a two-day summit on February 27 and 28.

Ever since Trump came to power in 2017 he has stressed on the need to talk to Kim Jong-un and build bridges with North Korea. This is against the conventional wisdom where American Presidents from Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton and others have stressed on the threat North Korea poses to the Asia region and the United States as well.

On June 12, 2018, Trump became the first serving US President to meet a North Korean leader when the two leaders met at a luxury hotel at Sentosa, in Singapore. Like some of Trump’s actions, his engagement with Kim did not appear to be one following a tight script, and it seems more like one that is played by ear. The Trump-Kim joint statement at Sentosa vaguely talked about the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.


However, in the days and weeks ahead various agencies confirmed rapid activity in North Korea’s nuclear research facility. From here US-North Korea ties have gone through a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs.

In July, North Korea “deeply regretted” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to that country. This was soon followed by what Trump called a “very nice” letter from Kim.

On September 10, 2018, the White House announced that preparations for the second summit had begun. The choice of Vietnam for the second summit was interesting. Vietnam, which was once America’s bitter enemy, is today a close ally and is a communist country which has embraced capitalism. Vietnam is one of the few countries with which Pyongyang has good ties with. It’s a model Trump has offered Kim if the North denuclearises. Vietnam also gains geopolitical importance because of the US-China ongoing tension.

The Hanoi Summit was expected to get Pyongyang agree to denuclearise itself. However, it didn’t happen and talking to the press Trump said, “It was about the sanctions. They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times.”

Another date for a summit has not been discussed and US-North Korea ties stand pretty much where they were a year ago—high on theatrics, low on substance.

In this video watch Viju Cherian explain how the US-North Korea talks are back to square one.

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First Published on Mar 2, 2019 08:05 am
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