TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Thursday, July 12 Donald Trump extolled the progress his administration is making with North Korea by sharing a scanned diplomatic letter from the Marshall of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un.
The letter from Kim, shared via the President’s Twitter was dated July 6, the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea to negotiate details of the proposed denuclearization of North Korea.
U.S. media outlets in recent days have been criticizing the meeting between Pompeo and North Korea’s Kim Yong Chol, suggesting the meeting was not successful and that North Korea is attempting to evade and delay the denuclearization the Kim pledged during his meeting with Trump at the historic Singapore Summit last month on June 12.
In the letter Kim wrote to Trump he does not mention the word “nuclear” at all, but offers plenty of praise for the “unique” approach of Kim and Trump in improving relations between the two countries.
(Letter shared from Donald Trump's Twitter)
Trump’s sharing of the letter this week is likely his attempt to contradict a narrative from confrontational media outlets claiming negotiations with North Korea have failed. Pompeo has called the meetings “productive” while North Korean state media referred to Pompeo’s posturing in meetings as “gangster-like.”
Many media outlets will seize on any opportunity to discredit the effectiveness of Trump’s negotiating ability and Washington’s strategy towards North Korea.
Despite many nay-sayers there still appears to be hope for negotiations moving forward, as the North Korea Foreign Ministry made the statement last weekend, reported by the Independent that that the DPRK“still cherishes (their) good faith in President Trump. Should the headwind begin to blow, it would cause great disappointment not only to the international society aspiring after global peace and security, but also to both” the U.S. and North Korea.
On Monday, July 9 Trump made a statement to similar effect when he tweeted “I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea.”
In seeming response to critics that claim North Korea is obfuscating and deceiving the administration, Trump directed their attention to China, saying they “may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade, Hope Not!”
There is a long road ahead for the process of negotiations that will hopefully lead to denuclearization, and as the Atlantic explains, it is difficult to say whether or not current situation represents the beginnings of slow progress, a strategic faltering by the White House, or a North Korean strategy of dragging their feet.
The truth could potentially be a combination of all three.