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Trump-Kim Summit Cancelled: Crisis? What Crisis?

News about the cancelled Trump-Kim summit may please somebody, but certainly not supporters of peace and tranquility on the Korean peninsula. Many world media, as usual, isolated phrases from Donald Trump's letter to Kim Jong-un, not bothering to look carefully at the entire text of the written message and tried to dishearten supporters of the US-DPRK summit, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Donald Trump clearly said that the meeting would not take place on the appointed date, pointing to the rigidity and even "hostility" that sounded from Pyongyang in recent days and noted the inexpediency of the meeting at the moment.

What does this mean?

Many politicians and media hastened to report happily that this meeting was from the very beginning unnatural and finally "died."

Let's try to remember what preceded this event.

For a long time, Washington energetically presented Kim Jong-un's initiative for the summit solely as its own victory, as a result of harsh sanctions, military and political pressure, which finally frightened the DPRK leadership and almost forced it to surrender. Of course, Pyongyang understood all this quite differently - as an attempt to reach, by means of equal negotiations, a historic solution that could satisfy the DPRK security concerns and the fundamental interests of national development.

Yes, there was a manifestation of goodwill from Pyongyang: the announcement of a unilateral moratorium on nuclear missile tests before the summit and the destruction of the nuclear test site.

Unfortunately, many US officials traditionally continue to believe that all these goodwill gestures are forced concessions from the North, and they became possible only thanks to the powerful pressure from the United States. The US logic is simple and primitive - "if it works, it must be continued and increased ". So it is better to demand categorically, that the final outcome of the talks can only be the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the DPRK, quickly and now.

From the very beginning of this "saga" it was difficult to imagine that this time Kim Jong-un agreed to accept the American ultimatum. Yes, the DPRK now is really ready for serious steps in the sphere of freezing and reducing its nuclear arsenal, but only in exchange for adequate reciprocal steps by Washington.

The capitulation "according to the Libyan scenario," which some influential figures in the White House consider very attractive, was not in the plans of Pyongyang from the very beginning.

And what happened was to happen.

DPRK surprisingly long, for almost two months, demonstrated unusual restraint and complete silence. When the Singapore summit appeared on the horizon, Pyongyang made a statement that it considers the agenda of negotiations with the Americans not in a unilateral format, but intends to bring into discussion its reasonable security concerns and topical aspects of national interests.

This was followed by loud statements from Washington about the "almost" cancellation of the summit.

The situation around the Trump-Kim summit is developing in a difficult, dramatic, but not tragic way. It was impossible to imagine the "cloudless" beginning of this process. Both leaders want to meet with each other, but, of course (this applies above all to Kim Jong-un), on mutually FRIENDLY conditions.

Donald Trump did not close the door of the talks. He only feels that in this "emotional" atmosphere it is better not to meet.

Thus, it is the rescheduling of the meeting - and no more. That is, the American president practically proposed to postpone the date of the meeting for a more favorable time (without hard angry statements).

All of us carefully read the statements from both sides. First Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan "worked as bad policeman" in full, and his colleague Ms. Choi Seung-hee spoke much more diplomatically.

Therefore, yesterday's events are not the end of the story, but the continuation of preparations for negotiations with a more realistic view of Pyongyang's concerns, which it (after the most recent meeting of Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping in Dalian) openly revealed. The preparation is likely to be continued through the channels of special services, and we will not learn much about this, as before, for the time being.

But no one can exclude the White House's return to the preparation of a military scenario - but then (and the US military knows it very well) - "there will be hell to pay." It is better to proceed from the last paragraph of Donald Trump’s letter, which looks quite conciliatory, suggesting a more serious preparation for the meeting with Kim Jong-un.

The situation continues to be very dynamic. On May 25 the DPRK declared that Kim was ready to hold the summit "any time and in any format".

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.