Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

This week, an historic meeting took place in Singapore between the US President and the leader of North Korea.

During the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, which included a private meeting, a working lunch and very public handshakes, the two leaders agreed there would be complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Describing the meeting as ‘honest, direct and productive’ the US President said the meeting was the beginning of a new chapter between the two nations.

As well as denuclearisation, the two countries committed to establishing new relations in a bid for a stable, peaceful, future, as well as a commitment to recover and repatriate the remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Following the meeting, Kim Jong Un left Singapore and the President held a press conference where he outlined details of the agreement and answered questions from the media.

The optimistic rhetoric flowing from this meeting is quite a change from the situation the world was in less than a year ago when North Korea was testing its nuclear missiles and Trump was threatening to retaliate with ‘fire and fury’.

I welcome the move towards peace, but we must be cautious of these developments. I do not trust North Korea to rid itself of nuclear weapons without a thorough verification process from the international community.

President Trump’s leadership is not always straightforward and the lead-up to this meeting was not an easy path. The meeting was planned, it was cancelled, then it was back on again.

Trump’s arrival in Singapore to meet the tyrannical leader was just hours after he turned his back on his G7 allies. These are countries, including the UK, which behave responsibly, whilst the North Korean leader treats his own people dreadfully.

Unfortunately, the message Trump seems to be sending out is that if you want to be a feted world leader and have America work with you, you need to threaten the world with missiles and behave reprehensively.

I hope this meeting is the start of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.  It is positive to see the two leaders talking, but we will have to wait and see if this meeting really is the beginning of the end of tensions with North Korea.