Debate: Topic and Outline
YY CLUB TOPIC:
Although Kim Jong Un has agreed to hold a summit meeting with US president Trump by the end of May, and indicating a willingness to denuclearize the peninsula, his intention and objects of the North Korea’s leader are not clear.
Which do you think or predict his objects to be a nightmare scenario or a dream of peace?
Aiko: North Korean ice hockey team joined the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang and North Korea sent their cheering squad to support them at the Olympics. Due to North Korea taking stringent stands over the years, this news caught the world by surprise.
Benjamin: President of South Korea Moon has put in his best effort to host Winter Olympics. This result also surprised the world ceremony came up in conversation. Vice President of the United States also was there, so the mass media speculated that they would get in contact with each other and have a discussion. However, it didn’t happen. In March, Kim surprisingly sent a letter to President Moon and it ended up holding a meeting with South Korean Unification Minister and North Korean delegation head. In the meeting, North Korea declared ” denuclearize” and made a proclamation “preparing for the meeting with President Trump”.
Benjamin: Because of the economic sanctions against North Korea, it was assumed that the country came to a deadlock and had a willingness to wage war with explosively unstable situation. Thus, this meeting was greatly anticipated for world peace.
Aiko: Korean Unification Minister was called and North Korea ‘s intentions was shown. He reported the intentions to President Trump. As a result, both countries agreed to hold US-North Korean summit in May June.
Benjamin: However, the world was still in doubt about this meeting.
Aiko: The reason is that no matter how Kim says “denuclearize”, it’s ambiguous and the discussion could break up.
Benjamin: North Korea has put everything into developing nuclear weapons, therefore it’s hard to believe Kim intends to let that go so easily. I think many people still think the same thing.
Aiko: Nevertheless, South-North Korea summit was scheduled in April. US- Japan summit was also scheduled in middle of April. It’s happening in a short period of time. On the other hand, Japan was put outside these movements. The abduction issue should be solved, and this is the chance to find a resolution. This situation is not good as it could be.
Benjamin: Japan would have completely put outside these issues without President Trump’s help.
Aiko: Well…let’s get back on track. Is there any chance that North Korea declares “denuclearization” even though the country put everything into developing nuclear weapons and so on?
Benjamin: North Korea thinks it’s important to negotiate directly with the United States. Kim Jon Un thinks having a nuclear weapon was the only way for the negotiation.
Aiko: I also think the economic sanctions against North Korea must have worked.
Benjamin: Why do you think President Trump agreed to have a meeting with North Korea?
Aiko: It’s important for him that his political party(Republican) wins the midterm elections coming this autumn.
Benjamin: Following these background, let’s talk about our topic “What do you predict will be the result of US-North Korea summit? Is it a nightmare scenario or a dream of peace?” We are not those specialists for sure, let’s check some opinions of specialists.
Aiko: Here is Narushige Michishita’s point of view about North Korea. He is a professor of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). Thinking back on what North Korea has done, it is assumed that there are following strategies.
① First, increasing the tension and showing off the power of NorthKorea.
② Changing its course to political dialogs in the middle.
③ Proposing “Normalize relations” or “peace accord” at the summitconference.
Now, it’s exactly step ②. The US is trying to observe North Korea’s next move. If President Trump couldn’t archive success in the summit, he would put more pressure on North Korea. There is also possibility that President Trump would use military power of the US against North Korea.
Benjamin: Because of the economic sanction, North Korea is willing toset the stage for peace negotiations and using the Olympics for diplomacy. I think they are making strategies and positively playing to aim at the United States midterm elections this autumn. This I too good to be true.
Aiko: On the other hand, there is a pessimistic point of view. Jeffrey Lewis’s opinion: It’s never going to happen that North Korea fully renounces nuclear weapons. Therefore, I hardly believe North Korea offering the “denuclearization”. President Trump must understand that he will not be able to strip North Korea of its nuclear weapons. When he discovers the truth, US-North Korea summit will be cancelled. Korean Unification Minister might have told President Trump Kim’s words optimistically. Making the summit happen means North Korea’s victory regardless of the economic sanction. And if they couldn’t find the solutions, the US would still most likely take military action.
Written by Mr.Chiba and translated by Ms. Kojima checked by Sam-san