Home News Today Kim Jong Un prevails as Donald Trump leaves without new concessions

Kim Jong Un prevails as Donald Trump leaves without new concessions

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Despite the diplomatic efforts of US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, the North Koreans have given no ground judging by the document signed jointly with Kim Jong Un.

In fact, it is the Americans that appear to have made a major concession – adopting the wording preferred by the North Koreans regarding denuclearisation, not just of North Korea but the entire Korean Peninsula.

In the meetings between the two leaders, both looked relaxed. Kim Jong Un smiled for the cameras, a smile that beamed confidence.

And he had good reason. He was exactly where he wanted to be. Exactly where his father and grandfather wanted to be, sitting opposite a sitting American president.

The meeting put him on the world stage as a global player on a level with the president of a superpower.

Not bad for the leader of a small country of 25 million and a GDP per capita the same as Gambia.

Whatever happens next, he can bank some major gains. Other world leaders are lining up to follow in President Trump’s shoes. He has been feted here as a global player, no longer the international pariah.

When he went walkabout on a late night stroll in Singapore there were whoops and cheers. This is the brutal dictator of Pyongyang, who sends assassins to kill his half-brother with VX nerve agent and has 100,000 political prisoners locked up and tortured or worse.

President Trump can also claim some gains. He has brought home three American hostages, he has persuaded regional powers to impose more swingeing sanctions on North Korea than his predecessors. And now he has an eye-catching peace summit to his name.

But he needed more than Kim from the summit itself. Kim could leave with only a PR triumph under his belt. Trump needed something concrete, a more detailed commitment to denuclearisation than North Korea has so far been prepared to give, with clear steps planned in some kind of timetable.

The final communique refers only to North Korea reiterating commitments it made in Kim’s historic summit meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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