North Korean leader Kim Jong Unan believes President Trump has promised. This is a big problem – and in the worst case it can bring the United States and the North to the brink of catastrophic nuclear war.
All this can be due to a simple misunderstanding.
In just a few weeks, we set out from a Trump meeting with Kim – after we briefly stepped into North Korea – to covert threats from the North Korean regime that he could abolish the self-imposed ban on testing large-scale nuclear weapons and missiles that would could carry nuclear bombs for the United States
NORTH KOREA THINK THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NUCLEAR MISSILE TEST
t phrases in a way that suits their interests ̵
The result could be tragic – a renewed round of missile or nuclear attempts that may trigger an armed conflict. If everything went wrong, the conflict could turn into a nuclear war.
If you read in two statements issued by Pyongyang which started this latest dispute, it is clear that North Korea is upset about the joint US and South Korean military exercises that will take place on 2 August. 25.
According to Kim's regime, military exercises violate "the commitments assumed at the highest level." In other words, the North says that Trump violates the promise not to conduct such teachings with the South.
Kim's regime, military exercises violate "the commitments made at the highest level." In other words, the North says that Trump violates the promise not to conduct such teachings with the South.
Indeed, the North Korean government says: "The termination of joint military exercises is what President Trump, the US Chief of Staff, has personally engaged in the DPRK-US Summit talks in Singapore under the eyes of the world and confirmed in DPRK- United States. the Summit in Pangunjom, where our Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State also attended.
The DPRK is the abbreviation for the official name of North Korea – the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
A number of White House and South Korean officials with whom I spoke tell me they have no knowledge of President Trump's promise to end joint military exercises. In fact, as far as these officials know, this topic was not even discussed between Trump and Kim during their recent meeting.
Trump has promised the issue of joint exercises in the past, but there are some important warnings that North Korea does not mention. As a result, the North and the United States have great differences about what each party believes Trump has committed to.
During his Singapore summit with Kim last year, Trump has clearly stated that "we will stop the military games" – criticizing the joint game. The military exercises of the United States and South Korea are expensive and provocative.
But there was a great catch on such a promise. Trump never agreed to an indefinite agreement to stop the US military exercises with South Korea indefinitely. The American president simply said he had canceled a set of planned exercises because "in these circumstances we are negotiating … I think it is inappropriate to have military games."
But there are several twists and turns that can lead to some confusion in the part of North Korea. Examining his exact words at a Singapore summit press conference, Trump expressed his support for the joint freeze of the exercises "if we do not see that future negotiations will not continue properly."
Unfortunately, what also complicates this issue is the fact that Trump has said he will put military exercises "on detention while negotiations with Pyongyang continue."
Well, that is at least one thing is clear. Trump, faithful to his word, halted two great exercises. The US Department of Defense said it had "unlimited choice of exercise." But the only American and South Korean exercises have explicitly stated that it is called the Guardian of Freedom and two training sessions for the Korean Maritime Exchange Program, which were to be held over the three months. after the summit. The defense ministry statement also notes that any further suspensions depend on North Korea's good faith negotiations, while respecting Trump's promises. Indeed, after the Hanoi summit, more exercises were discontinued.
In the next few days all this will get to the head. The working groups in the United States and North Korea will meet to establish an agreement based on a grounded language and broad outlines arising from the discussions during the last two summits.
However, North Korea has not confirmed a date or time for negotiations. In this case, it appears that the United States will continue with the joint military exercises with South Korea. This does not violate any promise made by Trump. In fact, he does the promise he has made.
But after his last meeting with Trump, Kim might have thought Trump would stop military exercises again, just like after the summits in Singapore and Hanoi
. Trump can declare that joint military exercises are suspended in tweet – provided the North Koreans agree on the date and time in the next few days.
This would prevent the crisis and allow diplomacy to continue unhindered.
Meanwhile, talks between the United States and North Korea remain unstable. Every single word, no matter how seemingly irrelevant, matters. A fake move – or in this case a misinterpretation of what was or was not agreed – could bring us back to 2017 and threats of nuclear war. I ask that we never see such days again.
Adriana Nazarko, Center for National Interest for Korean Scientists Summer Associate, contributed to this work. FOR MORE THAN HARRI CASSANS