Who brought home the choicest part or parts of the denuclearization accord entered into by US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Tuesday in Singapore is very edifying to the former who has prided himself in being a negotiator par excellence.
The crafted accord expectedly was in broad strokes. It did not contain details yet on what denuclearizing North Korea meant. Scientifically, however, stripping that country of its nuclear capability takes time, 10 to 15 years. That long.
That is the part of the accord that Trump proudly brought home. The assurance by Kim that from then on his country will never use its nuclear armaments is the other part of the deal that Trump describes as beneficial not only to the US but also to the entire Korean peninsula and the rest of the world.
Those are the parts of the accord that Trump trumpeted as his victory in Tuesday’s unprecedented summit hosted by tiny island-State Singapore between the two leaders, the first since the birth of North Korea in 1948.
North Korea, on the other hand, got the commitment that from then on the US and South Korea will no longer conduct joint military exercises. This regular joint military exercises between the US and South Korea had been regarded by North Korea as a thorn in its relationship with the South and the US.
That thorn is now taken off.
Trump likewise vowed to never use force against North Korea and once the process of verification as to that country’s nuclear capabilities starts sanctions will likewise be eased. Kim’s country will thus have access to the global market either as exporter or importer, as trader or buyer.
When both leaders parted ways in Singapore they were swayed into believing that each had sealed the choicest part of the deal they had entered into. This was very clear, especially to Trump who proved during that rare one and a half hours press conference he had before leaving that tiny island country.
Trump as usual projected an image of being in total control of the situation from the very first time he met and shook hands with Kim. Good for him. Kim gave him all the opportunity to shine so he will entertain the notion he has the upper hand.
But in the negotiating table, Kim proved more effective and wily in squeezing from Trump the best that he could get from him at that very moment. Trump, with his imagined greatness in the area of negotiation, ended up baited by the 33-year old chairman of North Korea’s communist politburo hence the better concessions he sealed from the US president.
Kim had truly studied Trump’s idiosyncrasies. He let Trump enjoy them to the hilt all throughout. He just gave him his boyish smile and allowed him to do the talking. I honestly don’t believe Kim does not understand the English language, he being Swiss-educated.
But Trump should not be belittled for not getting the choicest part of the deal. His minimum expected victory is score points with his political base back in America. In this regard, he was a champion. His summit with Kim is already a victory for him.
The world can just watch with awe how will Trump, admittedly a master showman even if his depth is doubtful, turn to his favor the unfavorable concessions he won from Kim in Tuesday’s summit. (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)