Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
It was to be a historic summit: the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, meeting in Singapore.
A milestone fruit of the thaw between the two Koreas that, initiated in the past Winter Olympic Games, had made believe in the possibility of bringing peace to the Korean peninsula.
Trump and Kim were going to meet to discuss denuclearization after months of insults and threats.
As a sign of its good faith, Pyongyang had released three US citizens earlier this month and on Thursday apparently destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test center, among other signs.
Even after traveling to China, Kim and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, celebrated on Friday, April 27, the historic summit in which they committed to work towards a “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula.
The next big step in the process should be the meeting between Trump and Kim, which had been agreed to be held in Singapore on June 12.
But in the midst of the atmosphere of optimism and good words, the situation turned upside down, tension returned and now not only the summit was canceled by Trump but the rhetoric of the military threat seems to have returned.
How could you have gone from one extreme to the other so fast?
1. The first disagreement
The first stumble of the thaw occurred on May 6 when North Korea issued a new warning against the United States.
A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said Washington was “provoking” Pyongyang by suggesting that sanctions against the country will not be withdrawn until it abandons its nuclear weapons.
Trump then insisted that he will maintain the sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang, while suggesting that those measures were the cause of North Korea’s change of attitude.
The North Korean spokesman stressed that Washington “should not misinterpret as weakness” the pacifist will expressed by Pyongyang, and warned that “it would not be conducive” to continue with its “pressure and military threats.”
2. Military exercises
The United States and South Korea conducted joint military exercises on May 11 in which at least 100 aircraft were mobilized including eight F-22 stealth fighters, and F-15K and F-16 fighters.
These maneuvers irritated the North Korean government deeply.
Pyongyang decided to abruptly cancel high-level talks with its South Korean counterparts.
That despite Moon insisting that Kim was warned that those exercises were going to take place.
3. Disarmament according to the Libyan model
The first time from North Korea was specifically warned that the summit with Trump was in danger was following a statement by US National Security Advisor, John Bolton.
Bolton, recently inducted into the White House, suggested that North Korea follow Libya’s nuclear disarmament model.
Although later he qualified the declaration saying “it does not have to be equal to Libya, but it has to be something concrete and tangible”, his words did not go unnoticed in Pyongyang either.
Do not forget that eight years after renouncing its incipient nuclear program, a popular rebellion and the intervention of aviation by several foreign powers ended with the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
Kim Kye-gwan, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister, according to KCNA, repudiated Bolton’s sayings.
“High-ranking officials of the White House and the State Department, including John Bolton, are releasing claims of a so-called denuclearization model of Libya: ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization’, ‘total dismantling of nuclear weapons, missiles, weapons biochemicals, etc. ‘”he said
“This is not an expression of an intention to address the problem through dialogue,” he added.
“We can not hide our sense of disgust for him,” said Kim Kye-gwan.
More about Libya
Like the security adviser, the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, warned North Korea that it could end up like Libya if it did not reach a nuclear agreement with Washington.
Pence reiterated that threat in an interview on the Fox News television network.
Choe Son-hui, a senior official of the North Korean government dismissed as “stupid” statements l vice president .
In the KCNA agency, Choe said that Pence had made “rampant and insolent statements”.
“As a person involved in US affairs, I can not repress my surprise at such ignorance and stupid statements emanating from the mouth of the US vice president.”
And he warned: “That the US sits with us in a meeting room or faces us in a mutual nuclear confrontation depends entirely on the decision and behavior of the US.”
The harsh response to Pence was answered from the White House with the cancellation of the summit, communicated with an open letter to Kim.
“The Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place,” Trump said in the letter.
Shortly after publishing the letter discarding the celebration of the meeting between the two leaders, Trump said that the Pentagon and allied countries enlist in case North Korea chooses to commit some “foolish act”.
Regrettably, he was forced to cancel the Summit meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong -un, says Trump’s tweet with the letter .
However, the president said he was waiting for Kim Jong-un to start a dialogue process.
“Hopefully positive things will happen regarding the future of North Korea,” said Trump.
“But if not, we are more prepared than ever before,” he warned.