Trump and Kim: Many photos, few words
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-Un met Tuesday in Singapore, marking a milestone in international politics, but the propaganda was heavier than the real results around that handshake.
After threats, indecisions and weeks of discussion, the first meeting was finally held between a sitting U.S. president and the ruler of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea.
Making use of the world's anticipation, both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un participated in a handshake that was seen around the world in seconds.
As expected, the protocol allowed both presidents to synchronize their movements, thus preventing either of them from feeling less than at the event - both entered the room at the same time, had the same deference, and showed off their few courtesy attributes.
In other circumstances, a meeting of this caliber would have taken months (if not years) to organize, running the risk that the temperaments and demands of both sides would obstruct the way.
But Donald Trump’s new governing style allowed the North Korean leader to agree to sit down at a table within only a few weeks to discuss anything that would allow the reduction of economic sanctions, even if that means signing a paper with a few words.
After a four-hour meeting, North Korea committed to the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" - read carefully, "of the Korean peninsula," which also implies any kind of protection with nuclear weapons that the United States can provide to South Korea.
Correspondingly, the United States promised to "provide security guarantees to the regime in Pyongyang," according to the Spanish newspaper El País.
These promises have been "loud enough for each leader to have deemed it fundamental," the report continues. "Kim Jong-Un has considered that 'the world is going to see a tremendous change,' and Trump that 'we are going to solve a very dangerous problem,'" but the details of the mechanisms or the necessary tools for this to become a reality have been conspicuously absent.
Despite the presidential verbiage that ensured a "very extensive" document full of "very good will," the joint statement signed by both leaders only ensures that both countries commit themselves to "build a lasting regime of robust peace on the Korean Peninsula,” based on Kim's commitment to "completely denuclearize" the territory, something he has promised on several previous occasions without major results.
As CNN recalls, the North Korean regime was even one of the signatories to the 1985 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, promising consecutively in 1992 and 1994 agreements to dismantle its nuclear program, something that it secretly violated in 2002 and continued to do so until now, while its nuclear weapons capacity has only increased.
There is an important reason why few world leaders take the initiative to meet with North Korea: the vast majority of the ruling democracies in the world consider Kim Jong-Un as a dictator imposed on his people outside the traditional politic mechanisms.
Accepting a meeting under equal conditions is interpreted in diplomacy as a gesture of recognition of authority and legitimacy, something that Donald Trump has frequently done before dictatorial rulers such as Vladimir Putin in Russia, Xi Jinping in China, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and now Kim Jong-Un in North Korea, whom he even invited to the White House.
After his insistence on breaking ties with the international democratic community, as well as with their organizations and treaties, the constant embrace of Donald Trump to leaders who don’t need to answer to a Congress is increasingly disturbing.