June 4, 2018
The suspense is over! On June 1st President Trump announced that the meeting with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong Un that he canceled just last week was now on again and the two leaders will have their summit in Singapore on June 12th as previously scheduled. It appears that it will probably happen.
This is good news. By agreeing to meet the “Little Rocket Man” President Trump essentially defused the crisis atmosphere that prevailed in 2017 when the DPRK launched a series of ballistic missiles and carried out underground nuclear tests. This welcome change was further enhanced when President Moon of South Korea invited the North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympic Games.
One prediction we can make at this time with a high degree of confidence is that after the meeting each party will proclaim that the Singapore Summit was a great success. For Kim Jong Un it represents the achievement of a three generation objective, the recognition of North Korea as a serious power to be respected an even feared. President Trump has already declared that the meeting will be the first step in the process of denuclearization of North Korea.
In a recent Op/Ed piece, Walter Mead Johnson cited the prospects for Kim relinquishing his nuclear weapons and delivery system most succinctly, “The Kim’s would rather be the absolute rulers of a poor country that the former rulers of a middle income one”
Last year, early in his short term as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson assured Kim Jong Un that the US was not seeking Regime change. In response, in a Commentary last year titled “Of course, we want regime change!” I surmised that the statement was merely diplomatic blather, because the only way that the DPRK will ever change is when the Kim Dynasty is overthrown and replaced by a government that seeks the betterment of their people. This is a very tall order, not to be accomplished easily. However, it is the only realistic long term objective.
Byron Kahrs Varme