President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shake hands

Cover: President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un shake hands. (Picture: PA)

The jolly-looking new very good friend that President Trump shook hands with in Singapore is the same Kim Jong-un who ordered an anti-aircraft weapon to execute his uncle, Jang Song-thaek.

He is the same Kim Jong-un under whom ten of the eleven crimes against humanity that created the International Criminal Court have supposedly been committed in North Korea and he is the same leader under whom certainly more than 100,000 prisoners are in camps built to jail those suspected of political crimes.

The four-branch signing did not say anything that had not been said before.

True, President Trump said the North Koreans are going to close down an engine test division.

That would be the most important military line that was not in the official announcement. The US satellite got onto that one six years ago.

The engine testing generates so much heat that even a basic heat-seeking scan every 90 minutes from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) keeps it under US observation.

Ignoring the human rights issue for a moment, most countries in the region will be getting some reassurances from this Singapore meeting, if not from the declaration.

	President Trump and Kim Jong Un Picture PA
The two leaders met in front of US and North Korean flags. (Picture: PA)

Firstly, forget the lack of detail.

No one can fix an agreement on nuclear weaponry and all that goes with it, such as troop exercises that, has the all-important ratification process. It will come.

The joint exercises between the US and South Korea do not need a US-NK agreement.

Next year’s exercises simply do not have to happen. The Americans do not get much from them anyway.

So the meeting itself is important. It is truly a historic moment and the mood supports that assessment.

South Korea is pleased because it was very much the work of President Moon that made them happen and so Mr Moon’s domestic political policy of rapprochement is, for the moment, justified.

China has been promised a freeze-for-freeze deal: for example, North Korea stops testing, South Korea and US stop exercises.

In theory, China should also get American troop reductions.

A reminder of China’s interests: they loaded Kim onto an Air China plane to get him down to Singapore.

His own clapped out Soviet plane cannot fly that far.

Then there’s the Japanese request of Trump. In the 1970s and 1980s, Japanese workers and fisherman were kidnapped by North Korean guards.

What happened to those Japanese? President Trump, as part of the Singapore friendship deal, is also demanding answers.

It doesn’t sound like much, but in Japan, it is a huge moral and political issue.

PA
Picture: PA

As we expected, there were no big deals to be had in Singapore, but they all mattered.

It matters also that American officials stayed to talk more with the North Koreans. Presumably they will continue to talk.

Then what happens? When the officials think they have some sort agreement that involved hardware and, more importantly than anything, verification processes that Congress will vote on, then the really big meeting happens.

The so-called Gold Pen Affair.

Trump (during election time?) will invite Kim to Washington. Kim (who by then will be a "go-anywhere-for-a-state-visit premier") will go to DC to achieve the Great Transition, from international outlaw to a Very Good Friend status for Trump. (and do not forget the hope of a Nobel Prize - after which the FBI cannot touch Trump).

Status change is common enough. It is true also that you don’t have to sign agreements with your good, clean friends.

Treaties get signed by people with sometimes opposing view on how the world should be run.

The mood in Singapore was just that. All is changed.

They’ll get a couple of burgers-to-go and 'The World Series' will mean something else to these potential warlords. That will be good to see.

But one thing has not changed: there are still some say 130,000 men, women and children in dreadful prisons.

There are still ten of the eleven human rights crimes committed under Kim Jong-un.

As the North Korean’s used to say, beware the eyes that do not squint into the sun.

Of course, they don’t much say that now, and 130,000 can tell you why.

Christopher Lee is the Forces Radio, BFBS Defence Analyst. He can be heard every week on the only radio programme devoted to discussing matters of defence and security, Sitrep. To listen head here, to download click here.

Comments

Topics: