UPDATE : 2023.12.3 Sun 23:48
Continued caution needed for unification
  • Jeong Seung-In, reporter
  • 승인 2018.06.10 21:29
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The meeting between President Trump and Kim Jeong-eun scheduled on June 12th in Singapore was abruptly canceled by Trump. The unexpected change of plan surprised the world since everything seemed to be going well between the two countries. The cancellation of the summit came the day right after President Moon Jae-in and President Trump finished a meeting in Washington. President Trump expressed anger and hostility against North Korea in the open letter and said that it is not a good time to meet. Trump appears to have felt anger towards the public criticism of Vice President Pence from North Korean Foreign Minister Choi Sun-hee. Prior to Choi Sun-hee’s criticism, Pence provoked North Korea by saying that Kim Jeong-eun is mistaken if he thinks that he could play tricks on the U.S. Therefore, North Korean high officials felt neglected and questioned their veracity by Pence’s comment since Kim Jeong-eun himself is making a myriad of efforts to finally help bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jeong-eun was the first North Korean leader to ever cross the border between North Korea and South Korea. In addition, the day before Trump announced the cancellation of the U.S-North Korean summit, he even called out foreign correspondents to North Korea to notify the process of exposing the ‘Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.’

As such, North Korea is to adopt change to fulfill its’ dream to become a small socialist country like Vietnam, which is one that is respected globally while also have embraced the free market economy. For South Korea, there has never been a better situation than now to finally achieve peace since the Korean War in 1950. Therefore, South Korea and North Korea immediately had a second Inter-Korean Summit to quickly find a solution to the situation.

Surprisingly, with all the fuss going on, on June 3rd, President Trump met with Kim Yong-chol, the vice chairman of the North's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee. After the summit with Kim Yong-chol, Trump told the reporters that the meeting scheduled on June 12 in Singapore is back on and a big deal would be made in the meeting. If he was to meet with North Korea so easily, why did Trump unilaterally postpone talks with North Korea?

Trump is a businessman. This being so, Trump wouldn’t have broken the deal by a few unpleasant comments by Choi Sung-hee but just pretended to do so. When Trump was 40 years old, he published his book, ‘The Art of the Deal’. Trump often applied what he described in his book whenever he was engaged in business transactions such as real estate before he became president. His major trading skills are think big, protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself, maximizing your options, and to have fun.

In the ‘think big’ and ‘maximizing your options’ techniques, Trump didn’t make the U.S-North Korean summit unconditional. He was holding the card of canceling the talks with Kim Jeong-eun if the situation did not go as planned rather than narrowing his options. President Trump has declared the cancellation of the talks in order to reach a conclusion of the talks on his terms and conditions. Trump is believed to have acted in such a way that they would not lose control of the conversation with Kim Jeong-eun. Trump always felt that the process of signing a contract in his business was a game and he pursued fun in the process of his games. Since Trump considered the process of the negotiation as a deal of winning a better contract, he thought the cancellation of the talks would give him a better position.

An ordinary person wouldn't have abruptly canceled the meeting. Trump did not even give Moon Jae-in notice beforehand about the situation. Trump is applying his real-estate way of dealing in diplomatic relations. Even though it seems like his methods have worked this time, there is no guarantee that Trump will succeed the same way in the future. From South Korean people’s point of view, it is definitely the best year to ease out the relation and achieve unification with North Korea in 69 years after the beginning of the Korean War. Therefore, in order to have a peaceful unification, the leaders of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States should be cautious and careful to finish this successfully and not mess it up.

▲ The unexpected cancellation of the U.S-North Korean summit surprised the world

Jeong Seung-In, reporter  samcandothat@naver.com

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