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'TALKS ABOUT TALKS' IN SINGAPORE? YES PLEASE!

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MON 11 JUNE 2018

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMANENT
HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

'TALKS ABOUT TALKS' IN SINGAPORE?
YES PLEASE!

EXPECTATIONS SHOULD BE MODEST FOR KIM/TRUMP GET TOGETHER: GETTING TO KNOW YOU IS PROGRESS, BUT US-DPRK WAR WOULD BE A GLOBAL CATASTROPHE



PND's United Nations nuclear disarmament campaigner John Hallam, suggests that it is right to keep expectations of progress between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump modest. According to Mr Hallam:

“The most vital thing is that the two agree to keep on talking, and that the meeting lasts more than one minute. Reversion to the previous state of hostility and confrontation will be a catastrophe, and war between the DPRK and the US could well turn nuclear very fast. Worse, such a war could well spread to involve China and perhaps even Russia, bringing into the equation in the very worst scenario (which we hope is unlikely), the potential end of civilization.

Assuming the two do stay in the room together maybe over a hamburger or kimchi, there are a number of more positive possibilities. None of these are likely to be completely hammered out in a day or two though significant progress might be made on any one of them. Their realization will require a bit of flexibility and commonsense and good will on both sides, but all are quite possible. All of these aim first of all, not to solve every one of the problems and disagreements between the US and the DPRK, but to change the dynamic between them from hostility to dialogue.

They include:
--A treaty to end the Korean War. Major progress could be made toward this and to changing the US-DPRK dynamic by a simple declaration from the two leaders that they regard the war as having ended.
--An easing of at least some sanctions. As China seems already to be backing away from sanctions, nothing would be lost by a graduated easing of sanctions in return for longer term improved relationships.
--Improved communications between North Korea and the RoK, including especially improved rail links. These have been under discussion for some time.
--Reopening of the Kaesong joint industrial area.

Further down the track one might contemplate signature by the DPRK of the CTBT, and specific arrangements similar to those that evolved during the cold war between the US and Russia to prevent nuclear incidents.

Of course, if the DPRK is to sign the CTBT, one might ask why the US feels unable to do so. Perhaps the two countries could sign it jointly, together with Iran.

In a spirit of wild optimism, perhaps they could contemplate a little further down the track, jointly signing the TPNW, taking the world a mighty step toward global denuclearisation.

But to demand instant and one-sided de-nuclearisation of the DPRK alone without corresponding US steps in the same direction is, at least for now, most likely a non-starter. Indeed to demand this with the alternative if the answer is no, a return to where we were before, would be to doom the negotiations. There are signs already that Trump may have understood this, and determined that getting a deal, any deal, is better than this. For once he is absolutely right.

Actual de-nuclearisation of either the DPRK or the Korean peninsula as a whole -if it is made into a 'make or break' demand – will indeed be a deal breaker.

Trump has foreshadowed that in the event Kim and he like each other, further meetings may be in store.

We hope this really does happen. A mix of one or two further meetings and of lower-profile, technical and working meetings with diplomats if that proves to be possible, over a period of a year or more, is the required formula for:

--first of all ensuring that a Korean peninsula (not-so-mini) apocalypse is well and truly OFF the agenda.
--ensuring steady progress toward a nuclear free (North and south) Korea, and a nuclear free world.”

John Hallam
Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Human Survival Project
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Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2018 19:08