Robert B. Murrett Discusses US-North Korea Summit with Fox News

Trump, Kim Jong Un’s summit in Vietnam: What to expect from the leaders’ second meeting

(Fox News | Feb. 21, 2019) President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are slated to meet again.

The two are expected to reunite in Hanoi, Vietnam on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, which will follow what was the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Denuclearization hasn’t been “progressing as quickly as hoped.”

Trump announced the second meeting at his State of the Union address earlier in February …

… Denuclearization will likely be at the center of their meeting, Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett, a professor of practice, public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University, told Fox News.

“A lot of progress has been made since last summer,” he said, but noted that denuclearization hasn’t “progressing as quickly as hoped.”

While Trump and Kim signed a document promising to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” during the first summit, Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, cast doubt on whether the so-called Hermit Kingdom would truly “give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities,” he said during a testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in late January.

“Our assessment is bolstered by our observations of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization,” he said at the time.

Speaking from the Rose Garden in mid-February, Trump also implied he may not push for full denuclearization as long as North Korea agrees to stop testing any weapons of mass destruction.

“We hope we’re going to be very much equally as successful [at the second summit]. I’m in no rush for speed. We just don’t want testing,” he said.

That said, there are expectations for the second summit to “include concrete, detailed, actual execution plans,” regarding denuclearization, Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, South Korea, told NPR.

A peace treaty?

There’s growing speculation that Trump may offer an announcement of peace and a formal end to the Korean War if he can convince Kim to commit to denuclearization.

The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, essentially a cease-fire signed by North Korea, China and the 17-nation, U.S.-led United Nations Command that was supposed to be replaced by a formal peace treaty. But both sides instead settled ever deeper into Cold War hostilities marked by occasional outbreaks of violence.

The conflict in Korea is technically America’s longest war.

But a peace treaty, even decades later, could have significant benefits for North Korea — potentially easing trade sanctions on the country and leading to economic growth, for starters.

“Trade is going to be a part of [their talks],” Murrett said, adding Kim has expressed interest in “bringing their economy into the 21st century” …

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