By Dan Calabrese
It’s not Neville Chamberlain and “peace in our time” because we didn’t give him Czechoslovakia, which would have been a neat trick anyway since it no longer exists.
But I’m not sure it’s much of anything, really. Trump and Kim Jong Un sit down and sign a “historic agreement” in which the Norks say they’ll denuclearize and we say we won’t invade or attack them – but no details or verification procedures are included, since all that is still to be worked out.
How are we anywhere different from before both men arrived in Singapore? We’re not, but now there are pictures. I don’t put nearly as much stock in “optics” as do those who breathlessly bring you the optics, but dictators surely do. This sort of thing tends to elevate tinhorn psychos like Kim to the level of Serious World Leader, at least in their own minds and in the way they’re talked about. Now he’s got a picture of himself sitting next to the president of the United States signing an agreement to . . . what, exactly?
Don’t sweat the details, because there aren’t any, except one really bad one:
Trump said he expected the denuclearization process to start “very, very quickly”. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials would hold follow-up negotiations “at the earliest possible date”, the statement said.
Trump told the news conference that the process would be verified, and that the verification “will involve having a lot of people in North Korea”.
He also said Kim had told him North Korea was destroying a major engine-testing site used for missiles, but maintained international sanctions on Pyongyang would stay in place for now.
Trump said joint military exercises with South Korea would be halted. He said the move would save Washington a tremendous amount of money and would not be revived “unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should”.
“Some things were agreed and not reflected in the agreement,” Trump said.
Kim earlier said the two leaders had a historic meeting “and decided to leave the past behind. The world will see a major change.”
However, several political analysts said the summit had yielded symbolic, rather than tangible, results.
“It is unclear if further negotiations will lead to the end goal of denuclearization,” said Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow of Washington’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. “This looks like a restatement of where we left negotiations more than 10 years ago and not a major step forward.”
The document made no mention of the sanctions and nor was there any reference to finally signing a peace treaty. North Korea and the United States were on opposite sides in the 1950-53 Korean War and are technically still combatants, as the conflict, in which millions of people died, was concluded only with a truce.
Why would we stop joint military exercises with South Korea before there’s even a deal signed? (This is not a deal. It’s an agreement to work toward a deal, which means it’s nothing at all.) And why would we give that concession away up front, if ever?
It looks like both men saw value in staging a “historic” signing ceremony, which seems to symbolize that they’re on the same page and working toward the same goal. But we’ve been through this before, and unless there’s anything in the ultimate deal that involves real enforcement – and real penalties for noncompliance – then I hate to tell you this, but nothing real happened in Singapore.
And based on history, and the fact that we’re dealing with the same people who have jobbed us in the past – basically on the same terms – I’d say nothing happened in Singapore.
But enjoy looking at pictures of something appearing to happen.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!