I International

Second US-North Korea Summit in February

The announcement did not come as a shock as both sides, North Korea and the USA, have announced that they will meet again for a second summit.

Now, the White House has announced that US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will meet again by the end of February 2019.

The announcement came after the visit of North Korean official Kim Yong-Chol at the White House.

BBC state department correspondent Barbara Plett reported that Kim Yong-Chol’s visit to US capital Washington is the first sign of progress in nuclear diplomacy with North Korea for months.

Yong-Chol had been expected to bring a letter from Kim to President Trump. The letter was predicted to include a proposal for establishing a foundation for a second summit. The actual content of the message remains unclear.

Since their last meeting in Singapore in June 2018, little has been done on what had been agreed on.

Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang regarding the denuclearisation of North Korea have stalled, and no detailed information of North Korea's nuclear facilities has been provided.

Sanctions towards North Korea persist. The country has shown efforts by not conducting missile tests and the dismantling of nuclear testing sites and missile engine facilities since the summit. However, it tested tactical weapons in November 2018 – which was not perceived as a threat – and nuclear facilities continue to exist.

Kim Jong-Un, on the other hand, has been busy boosting his country’s global image – as the summit has played more into his hands than President Trump’s. Kim has rekindled relations with South Korea by dismantling guard posts alongside the two countries borders, and by making trips to each other’s countries.  

The China-North Korea relationship has also made some improves as the North Korean leader has paid Chinese President Xi a four-day trip last December.

The second summit was historic as USA’s, and North Korea’s leaders have never met since the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1948. However, on paper, all issues, including North Korea’s denuclearisation, were vaguely formulated.

At the second summit, many will be expecting a concreted outcome. Both, North Korea and the US, are unlikely to separate and to call the meeting a “success” with a vague agreement.

President Trump said that he was looking forward to the talks.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said that denuclearisation talks continued, but added: "The United States is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea."

While the location of the second summit has not yet been decided, speculation is growing that it could be held in Vietnam.