Special Forum

On June 12 when Donald Trump met in Singapore with Kim Jong-un, the other four countries in the earlier Six-Party Talks faced a new diplomatic environment, not only with North Korea, but also with the United States. Anticipating since March a tectonic shift in the framework for this region, especially in contrast to the alarming security concerns of 2017, these countries found themselves in an utterly unprecedented diplomatic context after 70 years of US-North Korean animosity. Unlike the sporadic and tentative overtures of 1993-2017 that failed to signify any breakthrough even if agreements were, at times, reached, the Singapore Statement promised a fundamental resolution of the standoff and reordering of the way diplomacy is conducted. Yet, it came with deep doubts about the trustworthiness of Kim’s vague commitments and the steadfastness of Trump’s stated convictions that the nuclear threat had been fully resolved.

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