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Home Articles Flashpoints Who 'won' the Singapore Summit? Who Cares?

Who 'won' the Singapore Summit? Who Cares?

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WED 20 JUNE 2018



Asking who 'won' the Singapore summit, who gained an 'advantage' over whom, and whom was 'fleeced' or 'taken to the cleaners' by whom are questions that do not merely miss the point as to what the Singapore Summit was and is really about, or should be about, but misunderstand the whole point of what all summit diplomacy is about. These questions don't just miss the point however: they threaten to send us back to precisely the catastrophic confrontation that preceded the Summit and from which the Summit delivered us. Questions about who 'won' and who 'lost' the Summit could actually plunge the world into a confrontation that costs at a minimum tens of millions of lives, and that at worst could morph into a civilization-ending cataclysm.

Those who ask such questions – often from questionable or downright disreputable motives – place partizan advantage (or US dominance) over avoidance of global catastrophe.

Questions about who 'won' and who 'lost' need to be 'un-asked', and completely different questions (like, how do we creatively proceed from here, how to we safeguard any progress that has been made against backsliding) need to be asked and given good-vibes, non-zero-sum game, answers.

What is needed -what is the key post- summit requirement – is how to permanently convert what has been a potentially apocalyptic enmity, to dialogue, cooperation, and a degree of trust.

I suggest at a minimum the following:

--There was talk of a followup visit. That should happen, either Trump to Pyongyang or Kim to Mar-a-Lago. It should be soon but not too soon.

--There should be immediately commenced, out of sight of cameras, an intimate and detailed and open ended precondition-less negotiating process conducted by senior policy wonks on both sides, aimed to permanently placing US-DPRK relations on a firm and friendly footing.

Not so long ago there was an article suggesting Chinese concern over the potential for a much closer US-DPRK relationship. A measure of success might be the appearance of more such articles.

Finally, the question really does need to be seriously addressed:
'If we talk about DE-nuclearization of the DPRK, can we also talk seriously about denuclearization of the USA?' - because the one will happen only in the context of the other.

Mutual signature and ratification of the CTBT would be an enormous step forward. And both sides should consider mutual signature of the TPNW.

John Hallam
UN Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Human Survival Project

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 15:15