Two for the show: Trump meets Kim
Starting tomorrow in Vietnam. North Korea's leader Kim Jong Hoon will meet with President Donald Trump for a second time. We're going to have a very interesting two and a half days in Vietnam. And we have a chance for the total de nuclearization of an area of the world that was very dangerous that may sound like a grand and concrete ambition, but there's some confusion as to what total denuclearisation really means. It seems that since the pair I met in Singapore last June. Mr. Trump has lowered his sights of it yesterday. He said he was not in a rush to denuclearization as long as North Korea. Does no more weapons testing. How much diplomatic progress has been made since that Singapore summit, and what the two sides expect to achieve this time around Kim to Donald Trump pledge to establish a PanAm peace regime on the Korean peninsula and to leave the fold you. Nuclearization of the peninsula, but they didn't really agree on what that meant for the past few months progress on any of those goals has been hampered by the fact that they haven't been able to agree on definitions of any of those things are sold bureau chief, Lena Schipper is in Vietnam ahead of the summit. Lena. What's the mood like in Vietnam? Well from what I could see on the road and from the airport. Everybody is extremely excited. This Vietnamese government we should say extremely excited. There are lots of American North Korean flags lining the road. They're all sorts of LED displays saying Hello. Welcome to noise such peace. So that can effort even though they didn't have very much time to Pat, what about your sort of home bureau, what what has the feeling in in Seoul. And so the mood is much less excited than it was before the Singapore. Some of the before Singaple you had the the to inter-korean summits that people very moved buying South Korea because you had. Kim's shaking hands across the dividing line in the demilitarized in the board of between North Korean South Korean people was very brilliant and hopeful and this time the mood was in is a lot more subdued. I think people have much lower expectations than they did in the run-up syncopal. Not very much as happened for few months there. The it's more wait-and-see. I think than it was. Some big promises were made at the last meeting, but since then not much as happened to fulfil them. What should the world expect this time around? I didn't think we should expect too much. Edward car is the economists deputy editor, but we have to see more than we saw from Singapore, which is really just a sort of handshake and a smile, so their various things that people are talking about one is an opening of liaison offices at the moment. There's no formal diplomatic contacts. There could be an opening of liaison offices in each other's capitals. It may be that North Korea is willing to shutdown temporarily or permanently its Yongbyon react to where a lot of immunity materials being created. It may be that they'll allow the inspection of its test site, which it said it's closing descend like significant Justice, but they're really less significant than they they see one high profile North Korean Coldham, like painting an old car for resale. These are really. Decrepit places 'institutions at all particularly useful to the north again on the other side in old even to get that far the United States may have to relax some sanctions. Now, this is a long way from eliminating the North Korean nuclear threat. But it is a movement of of some sort that is the the pointed question, do you believe that Mr Kim would ever completely denuclearize? I think it's unlikely, but he doesn't really have to listen to me, both America's intelligence services and more recently senior military commander in Asia. Have both said they think it's unlikely that North Korea will give up all its nuclear weapons. Their assessments is much more likely that careers willing to give up some weapons in exchange for a relaxation of sanctions, a recognition by the United States of the Kim regime, but Trump doesn't agree with that. And he called his security services naive and told them that they were totally wrong. And. There's a great deal to be had with North Korea, which he thinks has the opportunity become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. If only they tried so the discussion of denuclearization that came about during the Singapore meeting. What exactly does that mean? Well, I think that's a big problem because each side means different things by complete DeLuca is Asian the Americans made getting rid of all North Korea's nuclear weapons in a verifiable fashion. The North Koreans. We think mean getting rid of American troops as well as their own weapon. So it means getting rid of the entire threat to both career, which they would argue is the result of having US troops in South Korea protected by the US nuclear umbrella. So both sides in Singapore were able to agree on this formula because it meant fundamentally different things to each of them that at some points going to have to be resolved. This seems like a repeat of a situation the world seen before diplomatic attempts that result in North Korea getting concessions, but the west not getting the security that. Angling for that's possible. Certainly it's what many people think, but there is a difference. This time Kim Jong relatively young man around thirty would hope to have many decades in power. He has to think about what's what's the future? How can he survive for decades in power in lessee has economic growth? That's Mr. Kim's guarantee of maintaining power over decades. Yes. I mean, the economy is small and not doing terribly. Well, it'd be a long time before the economy can finance huge weapons expenditure. Even now devotes a massive show GDP to buy weapons, but it's clear that it's the technological level is conventional weapons is pretty rudimentary. So it depends to defend itself against the highly sophisticated weapons of his enemies all who thinks is enemies in in the region and the United States the way it defends itself against those visted weapons is with the nuclear deterrent will quite I mean, how do we escape the feeling that North Korea is? Getting more and more of it what it wants. But never any moves on on denuclearization. I think that's a hard question to answer. One thing that has been gained is that the haven't been more tests. So there's some feeling that for as long as north doesn't test than it's becoming slightly less dangerous is not completing the miniaturization of the warhead one hopes. And so there's a there's a feeling that perhaps. It's less dangerous if it's not testing, that's that's kind of some gain that the rest of the world is getting. But you're right. They have to think quite hard about how much they're willing to relax sanctions without seeing really concrete steps towards denuclearization. And the thing that's really key. I think some point the north is going to have to come up with a complete inventory of everything that it has. And we, you know, you'll know that it serious when the north has come out with his infantry Tillett does with just dancing around. Really? I mean, there is some sense that perhaps this is perhaps a bit of theater on. On both parts right on on Mr Kim, looking to to be seen to be getting concessions from the west Mr. Trump being seen to be a, you know tackling extremely thorny longstanding problem of diplomacy as it just the what is he's to make fun of some bits of it. The Trumpian tweets and of Trump's Egan's to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize. But I think there's something very serious at St. to the first of these is the north Trump was warned was a growing threat when he was coming into office. I and we've seen the cessation of tests. And that's something that's really worth having the second is that it's unacceptable to have North Korea able to hit the United States with a nuclear armed ICBM. No, president can stand for that. And so this something deadly serious here as well as the kind of grandstanding and the style in which Trump does. That's very Trumpian. But he is grappling with a fundamentally important issue for the security, nited states and for the security of the entire part of Asia.