U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s (DPRK) Kim Jong Un held their historic summit in Singapore today, June 12, 2018. The meeting was more about healing old wounds and establishing rapport than arriving at a substantive agreement. The key terms, to which both heads of state signed their names, are:
“1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.–DPRK relations in
accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace
regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work
toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including
the immediate repatriation of those already identified.”
What remains to be seen is how the DPRK’s commitment to complete and irreversible denuclearization can be monitored and verified as well as over what time-frame. Assuming that is possible, the next anticipated action that would remain would be the removal of the DPRK as an embargoed country, not to mention the removal of certain DPRK persons and secondarily targeted persons from the Specially Designated Nationals list.
Already, President Trump indicated great trust in Kim Jong Un’s promise to denuclearize. Surprising both South Korea and the Pentagon, President Trump declared the cessation of joint-military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, commenting he agreed with DPRK’s leader’s concern that the exercises were a provocation.