Why the North Korea summit mattered even if it was ‘mostly a photo op’


Hofstra University Professor of Law Julian Ku explains that even if the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un was primarily a photo opportunity, it still matters. Ku also discusses what to expect from North Korea and the US in the future and how their agreement may look similar to the Iran deal that was recently ditched by Trump. Following is a transcript of the video.

Julian Ku: The summit, I think as some people had predicted, was mostly a photo opportunity or a media extravaganza. They didn’t meet for very long, nor did their delegations meet for very long, and nor did they come up with any sort of important or new agreement that changed anything in the relationship that didn’t already exist before the meeting, so in substance, it was a pretty small meeting, but in terms of its symbolic impact on the United States’ public opinion and maybe elsewhere around the world, it’s huge.

These are countries that are still technically in an armed conflict, a lot of people died over the years fighting each other, and we don’t have any recognition of North Korea, nor do we have diplomatic relations. So to all of a sudden have the flags side by side, a flag that you know which represents a country the United States has often condemned essentially as a criminal regime, it may just be a photo opportunity, but the photo op in this case is most of the story by sort of giving North Korea the public exposure that it wants.

If both sides want to continue, and they feel like there’s enough good faith built up in that first meeting, then maybe something will be achieved. So that’s what we can expect in the future, that this original meeting provides enough political support on both sides to then move forward where both sides start making more substantive commitments or specific commitments, and really the commitments are mostly at this point for North Korea. There’s not much more the US can reasonably give.

Part of the US strategy appears to be to sell North Korea, so to speak, on a bright future if they give up their nuclear weapons, so a carrot rather than a stick, right? Currently, the stick is economic sanctions will make it very hard for you to grow your economy or trade, but the carrot is if you give up your nuclear weapons, a bright future, where you become an economically sort of wealthy, developed country like South Korea or China.

This is not anything like the Iran deal, which is very specific and long. It took a year at least to negotiate. But the hope is that it would lead to something like the Iran deal. Here’s a timetable, here’s specifically what you need to do to Get rid of your nukes, and then you have to allow the inspections to come in, and so a lot of those technical details would be very similar, but I think one of the biggest differences …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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