The political gamesmanship at play with regards to the Singapore peace summit has reached new heights today, as President Trump announced earlier that the conference was officially back on schedule for June 12, according to Fox News.
The president went on to say that he was pleased to be back at the table crafting an agreement.
“We’re going to deal, and we’re going to really start a process,” Trump said. Making a speech to mainstream media outlets from the South Lawn of the White House today, President Trump mentioned the difficulties of the ongoing process and that it would likely take more than a single meeting in Singapore to hammer out all the details.
The comments to the press were made following his meeting with North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, the same deputy of the DPRK that had drawn the ire of President Trump for his rude comments surrounding Vice President Pence, having called his comments on the matter “stupid” and “ignorant.” Kim Yong Chol delivered a letter to President Trump of which the contents currently remain unknown to the larger public, although the meeting in and of itself signals cooling tensions between the two nations.
This sense of measured negotiation continued as a thread during the president’s public comments, as the commander-in-chief mentioned that he would be suspending the imposition of any new, additional tariffs on an economically beleaguered North Korea. This was done as a measure of good faith, sans any such request directly from Kim Jong Un, according to President Trump.
“I’m not going to put them on until such time as the talks break down,” he said.
This does not mean that the existing punitive tariffs will be removed or altered, however. These tariffs were exacted in response to North Korean military belligerence in the year or two prior, seeing the communist nation firing multiple test missiles and threatening more. President Trump reiterated his promise that the tariffs would remain solidly in place until such time as Kim Jong Un and the leadership of the DPRK agreed to completely denuclearize.
Very good meetings with North Korea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
The planned summit for peace between the two Koreas, and indeed the world, was halted last week when President Trump announced that he would no longer be attending, nor endorsing the event following public remarks made by Kim Yong Chol regarding Vice President Pence. Not even a full day later, North Korea offered an olive branch seeking to continue the meeting “at any time,” illustrating the push-pull dynamic of these diplomatic issues, according to BBC.
The proposed summit offers a historic opening for @POTUS and Chairman Kim to boldly lead U.S. and #DPRK into a new era of peace, prosperity, and security. Our countries face a pivotal moment in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste. pic.twitter.com/DDkTqnlI2n
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 31, 2018
The above tweet, retweeted by President Trump, shows that beneath the unorthodox and unpredictable demeanour, the United States and her representatives appear equally dedicated to achieving a positive outcome as both North Korea and South Korea. Whether a lasting peace, denuclearization, and economic turnabout for North Korea lies in the cards remains to be seen, playing out one hand at a time as the leaders of all three nations play a game of high-stakes political poker that holds the attention and prosperity of the world in the balance.