Brief on Upcoming North Korea – US Summit

Summary of events leading to meeting

After a series of hostile back-and-forths between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, a summit is planned to be held in the coming months in Finland between representatives of the two nations. Tensions between the countries has reached a new high, so the goals of both parties are mostly unknown to the world.

What NK wants from the meeting

North Korea’s primary goal is to achieve legitimacy and to mitigate international threats and sanctions. Recent tensions have escalated beyond where NK leaders would be comfortable, as whispers of allied intervention have become commonplace. Lifting the international sanctions is the primary goal of the Un regime, as their economy is suffering. Other goals are to reduce US military presence in the region. North Korea will also likely request more humanitarian aid to itigate the mass starvation. Reducing tension is the main objective of the summit, and accomplishing this goal is likely to assist greatly in acquiring the aforementioned talking points. In all, North Korea wants respect and recognition.

What US wants from the meeting

The United States seeks the complete denuclearization of North Korea while retaining the United State’s nuclear armaments. Furthermore, the United States would probably request for the disarmament of North Korean chemical and biological weapons. While more South Korea’s goal, the United States would also benefit from improvements in North and South Korean relations, which the U.S. could facilitate through increased trade and industrial cooperation. The United States may also push for improvements in human rights in North Korea, but denuclearization is most important.

What has happened historically

North Korean summits have occurred twice in history: once in 2000 and once in 2007. In 2000 both parties agreed to ease military tensions, cooperate in cultural and industrial fields, push for humanitarian cooperation, and become closer politically. In 2007 both parties reaffirmed the 2000 summit’s declarations and called to replace the Korean War armistice with a permanent peace treaty. The United States has never been directly involved in the talks, thus the conversation was generally more about North and South Korean amnesty and cooperation. The talks Kim Jong-il also repeatedly pledged to cease his nuclear weapon development, and as the North Koreans today have nuclear capabilities, it is clear that North Korea was lying. This puts all future agreements in suspect.

What will happen in this meeting

Both parties will put forward their demands and both parties will likely renege on many agreements. North Korea will agree to denuclearization only to continue their program in relative secrecy. The US will agree to withdraw some forces and to lift some sanctions; yet once North Korea is openly nuclear once more, then the sanctions and forces will return. However, tensions will indeed lower for at least one to two years, and the leadership of NK, SK, and US will receive international respect for their peace.