A plethora (mostly US and European) media outlets have falsely reported that DPRK citizens (North Koreans) are unaware of Kim Jong-un’s visit to Singapore and his meeting with Donald Trump which will take place in a matter of hours. This could not be further from the truth. DPRK print and television media have covered Kim’s trip to Singapore and have commented on hopes for a successful new era in peaceful relations as a result of the summit.
A summary of the video news reportage from the DPRK complete with photographs of Kim in Singapore can be viewed below:
Likewise the following statement on Kim’s visit to Singapore for his meeting with the US leader was released by the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and printed widely throughout the DPRK:
“Kim Jong Un , chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, left here by a Chinese plane for his personal use in the morning of June 10 to visit the Republic of Singapore where the DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks are to be held.
The historic first summit meeting and talks between Kim Jong Un , the respected Supreme Leader of the party, the state and the army of the DPRK, and Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, are to be held in the morning of June 12.
Kim Jong Un is accompanied by Kim Yong Chol and Ri Su Yong, members of the Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the WPK, Ri Yong Ho, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and foreign minister, No Kwang Chol, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, Kim Yo Jong, alternate member of the Political Bureau and first vice department director of the C.C., WPK, Choe Son Hui, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, and members of the C.C., WPK and the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK.
A ceremony of seeing Kim Jong Un off took place at Pyongyang International Airport.
He, setting out on a historic foreign tour, was seen off by Kim Yong Nam, Choe Ryong Hae and Pak Pong Ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK, and Yang Hyong Sop, Ri Myong Su, Kim Su Gil, Ri Yong Gil, Pak Kwang Ho, Kim Phyong Hae, An Jong Su, Pak Thae Song, Choe Pu Il, Ro Tu Chol, Choe Hwi and Pak Thae Dok, members and alternate members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK.
Kim Jong Un got on the Chinese plane for his personal use after exchanging greetings with the senior officials of the party and government who came to see him off.
The senior officials of the party and government sincerely wished Kim Jong Un good successes in the first summit meeting and talks between the DPRK and the U.S. and his safe return.
Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace_mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era, will be exchanged at the DPRK-U.S. summit talks to be held for the first time in history amid the great attention and expectation of the whole world”.
Shortly thereafter, the following was printed in the DPRK regarding Kim Jong-un’s meeting with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:
“Pyongyang, June 11 (KCNA) — Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, visited the Republic of Singapore on June 10 and met its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Presidential Palace.
Present there were Kim Yong Chol and Ri Su Yong, vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the WPK, and No Kwang Chol, minister of the People’s Armed Forces.
Present there from the Singaporean side were Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung, Maliki Bin Osman, senior minister of State for foreign affairs and defence, and the senior minister of State for culture, community, youth, trade and industry.
Kim Jong Un, the respected Supreme Leader of the party, the state and the army of the DPRK, exchanged warm greetings with the prime minister, made an entry in the visitors’ book and had a friendly talk with him.
Telling that he was very pleased to visit the magnificent and beautiful Republic of Singapore, Kim Jong Unextended his heartfelt greetings and best wishes to the government and people of Singapore on behalf of the government of the DPRK and the Korean people.
He expressed deep thanks to the Singaporean government for its sincere cooperation of providing all conditions and best conveniences for the historic DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks.
Thanking the DPRK for selecting his country as the venue for the DPRK-U.S. summit talks, the prime minister of Singapore expressed expectation that the historic summit talks would offer an important occasion in achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.
Mentioned at the talk were the issues of developing the bilateral relations in an all-round way by invigorating wide-ranging exchange and cooperation while maintaining the excellent relations and deepening the friendly relations between the two countries.
The talk proceeded in an amicable and friendly atmosphere”.
The Associated Press further released a video of a western reporter in Pyongyang who on the 10th of June confirmed that the news of Kim’s trip is being widely disseminated in the DPRK.
Meanwhile, videos from Singapore showing Kim Jong-un’s pre-meeting tour around the prosperous south east Asian city-state have circulated on international social media. It is thought that higher quality footage from official sources will be released at a later date:
Not only are North Koreans aware of Kim’s visit but they are aware that peace and de-nuclearisation are a major goal of the summit. The irresponsible fake news “journalism” of outlets that have made reports to the contrary appear to be engaged in a campaign of slander against the DPRK at a time when an atmosphere of good will and reconciliation is necessary. Lying media outlets continue to perpetuate shame upon themselves for deceiving to their own readers and viewers about the reality of information in the DPRK.
Below is Eurasia Future’s report on the possible outcomes of the forthcoming Kim-Trump Summit:
In many ways the fact that the Kim-Trump meeting is happening at all, is a prima facie demonstration of the meeting’s qualified success. Never before has a sitting US President met with a DPRK head of state and for that reason alone, the meeting is historic. But while the meeting itself is a history making item, the world sits and waits to see if there will be any tangible results of the summit. While the Singapore summit is the visual centrepiece of a much broader and deeper peace process in which China, Russia and the two Korean states themselves are doing the heavy lifting, the summit is a proverbial acid test that will demonstrate just how far the US will be willing to go to accept the status quo of an otherwise Asian authored, owned and executed peace process. Here are the possibilities beginning with the best case scenario and ending with the worst.
An agreement to end the Korean War and respectful de-militarisation + dropping of sanctions
In an ideal world, the meeting between Kim and Trump would produce an agreement to prepare the necessary and long awaited treaty to end the Korean War/Fatherland Liberation War which has technically raged since 1950 even though hostilities were ended in 1953 with the signing of an armistice.
Additionally, such an agreement would in the most optimistic situation lead to discussions whereby the DPRK would agree to a respectful de-nuclearisation according to a plan unrelated to the humiliating one proposed by US National Security Adviser John Bolton, while the US President would agree to make a commitment to withdraw American weapons of mass destruction and eventually large numbers of troops from South Korea. Under such a scenario, the US would also prepare a UN Security Council Resolution to begin lifting sanctions against the DPRK. It is clear that Russia and China would support such measures while Britain and France would go along with whatever the other preeminent UNSC members sought.
This idea scenario is not impossible given the fact that there is no doubt of Kim Jong-un’s sincere intentions to seek peace and prosperity for the Korean people and likewise, unlike some of his advisers, Donald Trump has struck some positive notes regarding the meeting in recent hours. That being said, such an agreement would be an incredibly tall order.
Likelihood of this scenario: 5/10
Agreement to end Korean War and de-militarisation agreed in spirit but with no firm agreement
When Kim Jong-un took his southern counterpart Moon Jae-in by the hand and walked him across the Demilitarised Zone into the DPRK before both sharing a day of discussions on the southern side of the artificial border, it was a sign that the long cold Korean War would end. The question now is not so much a matter of if but when.
Because the war is over in all but name, finalising a treaty to be signed by Kim and Moon ending the war will be a far easier process than working on the details of DPRK de-nuclearisation or the even more vexed issue of the ‘de-Americanisation’ of South Korea. In such an agreement, the US may not agree to fully lift sanctions all at once, but at least a partial relaxation of sanctions (which would then be rubber stamped by the UN Security Council) would be likely.
Because of this, the most realistic major outcome of the meeting will be an agreement to pave the way for the formal end to war in Korea while the specifics of de-militarisation and sanctions will be discussed at a later date.
Likelihood of this scenario: 7/10
Preliminary De-nuclearisation Agreement and preliminary agreement to drop sanctions sooner rather than latter…just not all at once
The hawkish Trump administration has made it clear that the DPRK eliminating its nuclear programme and possibly its ballistic missile programme too is a more important priority than taking positive steps towards Korean peace, reconciliation and mutual economic development. Because of this, Trump may tell Kim that the only offer available is one where the DPRK will have to de-nuclearise first and then at a later stage, discuss a peace treaty, the dropping of sanctions and other economic agreements.
It is highly likely that Trump and his advisers will aim for this outcome although if Kim reacts in a substantially positive manner to such proposals, it could hasten other items on the broad agenda before the end of the year, including a peace treaty and the dropping of sanctions.
Likelihood of this scenario: 8/10
Agreement to formally establish diplomatic relations between the US and DPRK but no other concrete agreements beyond celebrating the general spirit of de-nuclearisation
This outcome would be more or less a glorified photo-op in pursuit of establishing formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Pyongyang, something that would be an achievement of sorts but one that could ultimately lead to little in the very near future.
With Donald Trump hinting that this may be possible and that furthermore, he may invite Kim Jong-un to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, it may be that because Trump’s own advisers don’t actually want any substantial results from the Singapore summit, that he instead might opt to play host (as he is very inclined to do) at the same resort that has previously hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Premier Shinzō Abe.
In this sense, the Singapore meeting will represent a breaking of the ice and a path towards more formal discussions between Kim and Trump at a later date and in a venue where Trump clearly feels more powerful than in Singapore.
Likelihood of this scenario: 7.5/10
Agreement to meet at a later date and in a different location after developing a personal understanding
It could also be the case that without coming up with any concrete agreement, including an agreement to formalise diplomatic relations, that the US President and DPRK head of state may simply agree to continue discussions elsewhere in the future after having discussed each side’s intentions, desires and concerns.
Likelihood of this scenario: 6.5/10
Trump walks away from the table
Trump has threatened to walk away from the table if things do not go his way and has even said that he will be able to sense Kim Jong-un’s attitude towards the meeting after one minute of being in the room with him. That being said, the optics of such a walk out would not only reflect poorly among Trump’s domestic base who want him to succeed in the summit at some level, but it would also send a message to China, South Korea and of course the DPRK, that Trump is not serious about the peace process.
Likelihood of this scenario: 3/10
It should be noted that none of the aforementioned scenarios are mutually exclusive. There is certainly room for a combination of any of the possible scenarios. What is clear though is that the DPRK is far more willing to do a deal than many of Donald Trump’s own advisers. This is the case for the fairly self-evident reason that Kim Jong-un clearly wants peace while many on the US side including John Bolton, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley clearly do not want peace. It was Kim Jong-un’s extending of an olive branch to the South Korean government and people which instigated the current peace process in the first place and throughout the process, the DPRK has gone above and beyond in both showing good will towards all parties to the discussions, all the while taking the substantial step to dismantle its nuclear testing facility before the Singapore summit.
In this sense, the ball is largely in Trump’s court because contrary to western stereotypes, Kim Jong-un is anything but a war monger. Kim has shown himself to be a leader who has taken a proactive, genuine and comprehensive path towards peace while asking only for basic and rational security guarantees in return. Even while building and testing his nuclear arsenal, Kim and his colleagues always made clear that once nuclear parity is reached, the DPRK would be ready, willing and able to discuss peace with any and all partners including the United States. Kim clearly sees the future of his country as one that can work with Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, other Asian partners and maybe even the US in order to expand an economy that in spite of sanctions continues to grow under Kim’s leadership. Kim has made the decision to embrace multipolarity based on the confidence derived from a position of domestic strength, the presence of a peace minded leader in Seoul, the realisation of America’s long-term gradual geopolitical decline, and the clear economic guarantees for interconnectivity from neighbouring superpowers China and Russia and other partners in the wider pan-Asian economic space.
Kim Jong-un has not only done everything he said he would do, but he has done so with grace, good humour, compassion towards a singular Korean people and with a remarkable tolerance for the chaos and poor manners that have come to typify Washington. If the meeting is less than a success, it will not be Kim Jong-un’s fault. Furthermore, those in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul and even Tokyo will be aware of this reality.