Don’t expect Biden to hold a summit with Kim Jong-un, experts say

By James Moules


JOE Biden is unlikely to follow in his predecessor in holding a summit with the leader of North Korea, experts have told Redaction Politics.

In June 2018, Donald Trump became the first US president to meet with a North Korean leader when he held a summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

The encounter only came following months of fierce brinkmanship between the two amidst North Korea’s nuclear testing programme.

At the summit, the two signed statement affirming commitment to a denuclearised Korean peninsula. However, Kim ended his nation’s halt on nuclear testing at the start of 2020, sparking fears that animosity would reign once again.

READ MORE: Biden to pursue ‘traditional diplomacy’ with North Korea – and a different agenda to Trump

Experts have told Redaction Politics that President-elect Joe Biden could be less inclined to meet with Kim unless more tangible results would be achieved.

Jim Hoare of SOAS and Chatham House said: “I do not think that a summit without some indication from the DPRK [North Korea] that it is really going to change its position on nuclear and missile matters is not very likely.

“Trump did do the unexpected but frankly, I do not see him or his policies being seen as a useful precedent for the new presidency. Nevertheless, I think he may well come under some pressure to do more than was done when he and Obama were in office.”

After the meeting in Singapore, Trump also met with Kim at a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in February 2019. However, the meetings were ended early and with no agreement.

Dr Sojin Lim, Co-Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies of the University of Central Lancashire, said: “I do not think Biden would agree with similar kinds of summit which Trump had.

“Biden made it clear that he would meet Kim Jong-un only when the required working level agreement to be made, with tangible negotiation results in hand.”

North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. It has carried out another five tests since then.

The nation is frequently described as one of the world’s most repressive regimes, with organisations such as Amnesty International listing numerous atrocities such as arbitrary arrests, heavy surveillance and public executions.


Featured Image: The White House @Flickr

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