• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Articles Flashpoints DOES A US-DPRK 'DEAL' MATTER AT ALL?


E-mail Print PDF





All the talk in Singapore about the Kim/Trump meeting revolves around the possibility of a 'deal' between the two leaders, and whether or not that 'deal' will be a good one that will lead to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

ICAN has pointed out that if we are absolutely serious about the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula, then what better framework for a 'deal' than the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), negotiated not so long ago at the UN and for which ICN has been awarded the nobel. This would of course, involve the denuclearization not just of the DPRK, but of the USA and other nuclear weapon states.

And ICAN is quite right that if we are truly serious about denuclearization, at some point we must tackle not just the elimination of the DPRKs 20-60 relatively small (with the odd 250Kt H-Bomb) warheads, but the elimination of the much more massive arsenals of the 'official' nuclear weapon states. The US can hardly otherwise with a straight face ask for the DPRK to denuclearize. Maybe this is a teaching moment.

But all this misses a more fundamental point – just before the developments took place at the Winter Olympics that led to this meeting, now the centre of attention for the whole world, Trump and Kim were threatening mutual nuclear incineration. It wasn't denuclearisation that was at stake but actual nuclear war, which seemed just months ago, a terrifying possibility.

John Bolton was just a little more recently saying that if Kim did not immediately commit to the complete elimination of his nuclear arsenal, Trump should walk out – and take us back to the threats of mutual incineration, with all the possibilities of a body count between a mere 25 million or so if nuclear conflict were confined to the Korean peninsula, and the possible end of civilization if it should spread to include China and /or Russia.

It is this possibility that must immediately be taken off the table, before a 'deal' – any deal whatsoever, good, bad or indifferent, leading or not leading to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula – can be considered.

In other words we need to know that whatever else is agreed, the two in the room agree not to try to vaporize each other, and to set in place arrangements that make that as unlikely as possible.

The best way to do THAT, in turn, is to set in motion a transformation of the entire US-DPRK relationship.

It's been clear for about the last decade that such a transformation is ardently desired also by the DPRK leadership.

Trump says that he will know 'in about the first minute' if Kim is sincere. At the same time he has hinted at an ongoing process, which seems from this perspective to be a good sign.

Forget about grand deals just for now. What the world immediately should want to know about this meeting is that:

--It lasted longer than a minute and no one has left yet.

--That kimchi and/or hamburgers are being ordered, and a round of golf is being considered.

--That an invitation to Mar -A-Lago is being considered.

What the world should want to know over the next 12 months however, is what thought is being given to the denuclearisation of the US,Russia, the UK, France, China, Israel, India and Pakistan any one of whose nuclear arsenals dwarf that of the DPRK, and whose use would truly end civilization and much much more.

John Hallam

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Human Survival Project

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2018 19:34