Unprecedented and tremendous success has been achieved at the Kim-Trump summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. However, although it was stipulated in the signed Joint Statement that both countries “commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity” [Note 1], the U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo said on June 14 that “sanctions will remain until its (North Korea’s) complete denuclearization” [Note 2].
To materialize further and faster prosperity, North Korea needs wider space and flexibility for conducting trades. True, the argument for “step-by-step and simultaneous action” makes sense, and Trump’s suspension of war game in exchange for Kim’s commitment on complete denuclearization, though only verbally committed, is fair.
Nevertheless, according to some expert opinions, it takes at least one to three years to have “complete” denuclearization technically accomplished. Therefore, something must be done during this period to realize the promise for “prosperity”.
In Feb 2018, when the vessel carrying the North Korean art troupe visiting the South for their performance at the Seoul Winter Olympic, their request for provision of additional fuel was said to be turned down owing to the United Nations sanctions [Note 3].
If something like this keeps on happening for as long as three years, it is completely nonsense to the Koreans both in the north and the south as they have already succeeded in making rapprochement among themselves.
As even President Trump has officially declared that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” [Note 4], the Korean issues should be left to the Koreans to deal with.
Therefore, the Moon Jae-in administration should immediately seek for special exemption from the UN resolution so that the public and private sectors of South Korea can have all the necessary freedom to make deals with their fellow Koreans in the north. Koreans on the Korean Peninsula should be free to do whatever they want.
When the Koreans living on the Korean Peninsula would like to conduct all sorts of exchange in their interests, it is none of other peoples’ business.
The landslide victory won by President Moon’s Democratic Party in the local elections held on June 13 Wed is a solid proof that the great majority of the Koreans in the south welcome the achievement by Moon, Kim and Trump.
All the nations of the world should respect the Koreans’ own will to enjoy peace and prosperity and the United Nations should grant all the necessary exemptions to South Korea, so long as the United States insists on relief only after ‘complete’ denuclearization.
By Keith K C Hui
The 21st Century
CNN, “Read: Full text of Trump-Kim signed statement”, June 12, 2018.
CNBC, “Pompeo says North Korea sanctions to remain in place until complete denuclearization”, June 14, 2018.
CNN, “Trump declares North Korea ‘no longer a nuclear threat’”, June 13, 2018.
Korea Herald, “NK asks S. Korea to provide fuel for ship that transported art troupe”, Feb 7, 2018.
Straits Times, “S Korea’s ruling Democratic party (DP) won a landslide victory in Wed (June 13) local elections held the day after a historic summit between the US and N Korea in Singapore”, June 14, 2018.