Analysis: Nancy Soderberg breaks down summit between US, North Korea

Former member of National Security Council now teaches at UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new dawn is on the horizon for American-North Korean relations following a historic summit between the two countries.

President Donald Trump of the United States of America met with Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea in Singapore Tuesday to discuss a future relationship between the two nations.

Major provisions from the joint agreement the countries signed include:
•    Pledging to new, diplomatic relations between the two countries
•    Working toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula
•    Building a lasting and stable peace regime on the peninsula

Distinguished visiting scholar and director of the Public Service Leadership Program at the University of North Florida Nancy Soderberg said that the meeting was both historic and a breakthrough.

“This is a new era of diplomacy with President Trump breaking all the rules. But, six months ago we were tweeting about who had a bigger nuclear button,” she said. “And, so having a summit to talk about how to denuclearize the Korean peninsula is historic and a breakthrough. So it's a good thing.”

Soderberg has previously served in the National Security Council from 1993-1997 and as an alternative representative to the United Nations as a presidential appointee from 1997 until 2001.

Soderberg said that it was a good thing to begin talks of peace and denuclearization with North Korea.

However, she said that the agreement signed at the summit lacked detail.

“We don't know what's going to happen. There were no real details in this agreement that they signed,” she said. “And the negotiators who were working towards something substantive at this summit weren't able to get to 'yes.’”

As a result of the agreement, the U.S. will suspend military exercises with South Korea in the peninsula. She said that the exercises are provocative.

“These types of things can be provocative. You also don’t want to give up something that’s important to the South Koreans,” Soderberg said. “Apparently we didn’t tell the South Koreans we were doing that. So there’s a lot of work still to come.”

Soderberg said that it will likely take a long time for North Korea to fully denuclearize.

“Americans have an investment in peace in the Korean peninsula. So, putting this on the table with President Trump’s effort to do it a different way,” Soderberg said. “It hasn’t worked so far, so maybe this one will work.”

Read the full text of the statement here.

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