Thursday, June 21, 2018

Winners and Losers in the Singapore Summit

Apparently, the Trump-Kim Singapore summit was a success. Otherwise, why would the media be filled with horrifying images of refugee children. The derangement and the hysteria are palpable. For those simpletons who cannot think past the argumentum ad Hitlerum, the Trump policy of dividing families that entered the country illegally smacks of concentration camps and crematoria. 

Naturally, Trump’s detractors do not accept that the president accomplished anything significant in Singapore. Over 80% of the people of South Korea think that he did. Since they have skin in the game, we should take their view seriously. On this side of the world, the hatred of Trump is so completely over the top that the vast majority of comments, whether from legislators, political leaders, columnists and even corporate chieftains has been decidedly negative.

Thus, for your edification, I draw attention to an article in the highly esteemed journal Foreign Affairs. Chung-in Moon explains that the Singapore summit was a success for all involved. For the record he is a South Korean foreign policy expert who works with president Moon Jae-in. I will not detail all the arguments, but will limit myself to a salient quotation:

In a war there are losers and winners but in diplomacy there are rarely black-and-white outcomes. Rather than keeping score, the goal is to find acceptable compromises for both sides. Although there might be differences in relative gains, diplomatic negotiation usually entails an imperfect win-win outcome. That was the case with the Singapore summit. The United States was assured that North Korea is committed to complete denuclearization, while the North was assured of a new relationship with the United States and a security guarantee. South Korea was also a beneficiary of the summit, because the Singapore declaration explicitly reaffirmed the April 2018 Panmunjom Declaration between Seoul and Pyongyang regarding denuclearization and the building of a peace regime. So, too, was China a winner, because its proposal for a “double suspension” of both North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities and U.S. military exercises with South Korea, and the dual-track approach to denuclearization and a peace regime, were all reflected in the signed statement and post-summit announcements. In short, there were no losers in Singapore, which is quite an accomplishment.

Quite an accomplishment….

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Good news for Trump must immediately be memory-holed, and the hole sealed with cement!