dilly dally

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 May 2018 11:54:15

IF the proposed summit between United States President Mr. Donald Trump and North Korean President Mr. Kim Jong-un got in a limbo because of the alleged touch-and-go attitude of latter, then at least some part of the dilly dally over the meet is also due to overbearing attitude of the American leader. Thus, what could have been one of the most historically important summits in recent times has got stuck in meaningless pushes and pulls and arguments. Of course, Mr. Donald Trump has made it clear that a team of US diplomats has already reached North Korea for preparatory meetings, thus sending out a positive signal. A possibility has emerged that the proposed June 12 summit at Singapore is more likely to take place than not. But international diplomatic community had held its breath last week when Mr. Donald Trump talked ambivalently about the fate of the meet. Now at least, signals are available to indicate a strong possibility that the summit is on track.

In part, the summit is becoming possible because Mr. Donald Trump pressed hard against North Korea’s latest step toward higher nuclearisation with latest intercontinental missiles that could hit any American city directly. When Mr. Kim Jong-un first announced readiness of the new missiles, Mr. Trump reacted sharply and declared his readiness to hit back at North Korea even though that might have meant going to war. Mr. Kim Jong-un, too, responded with angry words and what followed was one undiplomatic exchange of heated words that seemed to make little sense to the world.

From that point on, the two countries engaged themselves in diplomatic negotiations, which seemed to have a logical culmination in a summit. If Mr. Trump kept the pressure on, then Mr. Kim Jong-un, too went many steps forward that included a hasty trip to Beijing to meet Chinese supremo Mr Xi Jinping, and crossing over to South Korea to meet his counterpart Mr. Moon Jae-in. He also declared that the north Korea would dismantle its nuclear testing sight and convert the Korean peninsula as a completely denuclearised zone. In the process, North Korea did win global accolades, causing much consternation in Washington.

In order to tilt the favourable global opinion away from North Korea, Mr. Trump did what was left with him -- accuse North Korea of dishonesty in its announcements and intents. That only vitiated the atmosphere as the US kept calling Mr. Kim Jong-un as a despot whose integrity was under question. The world, however, did not think so. It tended to believe that Mr. Kim Jong-un was trying sincerely to defuse the tension by making huge concessions that looked almost uncharacteristic.
Even as Mr. Trump indicated a few days ago that the summit could be in a limbo, his attempt was to show the world the so-called dishonesty of North Korea. Despite this, the world saw certain openness, of course circumscribed by diplomatic constraints, on the part of North Korea, and felt rather surprised that Mr. Donald Trump was in a mood to call the summit off.

But now, the summit may still be on, and some reasonable outcome may be expected from the meeting of two opposite minds. No matter the details, it is obvious that the United States has weakened its position as regards denuclearisation when Mr. Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal. That withdrawal raised many issues even in the minds of other signatories to the Iran Deal. That was the reason why they tried to salvage the situation in their own way, realising that the American withdrawal may lead to continued enrichment of uranium by Iran, a condition nobody expected to happen. The Iran deal, thus, has sullied Mr. Donald Trump’s image to a certain extent, and that is reflecting in the diplomatic goings-on between the US and North Korea.