06/12/2018, 15.25
KOREA – UNITED STATES – ASIA
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Cautious praise for the ‘new’ relations based on Kim-Trump agreement

With today's signature, the two leaders commit to a lasting and stable peace on the Korean Peninsula. The deal calls for the recovering the remains of prisoners of war. Kim makes an "Unwavering commitment" to denuclearise the peninsula. Trump offers security guarantees to North Korea. China approves; France has doubts. South Koreans “hope” for peace. North Korean refugees are concerned.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The agreement signed this morning in Singapore by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un entails a commitment to the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" and praises the " new U.S.–DPRK relations". World leaders and Koreans have reacted positively but cautiously to the deal.

In the four-point agreement, the two leaders agree to establish "new" bilateral relations, join efforts to build lasting and stable peace on the Korean peninsula, denuclearise the peninsula, and recover the remains of prisoners of war and missing in action, including the repatriation of those already identified.

The US president pledged to offer security guarantees to North Korea, whilst the leader of North Korea reiterated his “unwavering commitment" to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The communiqué does not give any indications as to how and when the pledges would be implemented. It only states that the two leaders want to implement what is stipulated “fully and expeditiously”.

The meeting was "important and positively meaningful" for China. "New history has been made and China welcomes and supports it," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

France too called the deal “a significant step". However, French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau expressed some "doubts that everything was achieved in a few hours".

In a press conference held a few hours after the signing of the agreement, Trump told journalists that his country would cancel "war games" with South Korea. In the past, such exercises had met with threats from North Korea, including missile launches.

On the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, Trump himself said that "scientifically" it would take many years. In fact, according to experts, the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula would require at least 15 years.

In South Korea, many are happy about the prospect for peace that today's meeting opens. "On the Korean Peninsula, there is no one who does not want peace,” said a student. “It is indispensable for our country and brings some hope."

"I hope that the leaders of the US and other countries around the Korean Peninsula will do the right thing regardless of political interests to realise the desire of all of us who want peace," said another.

Among North Korean refugees in South Korean, scepticism prevails. Fearful of possible future reunification, they seem to be experiencing an identity crisis.

"What will I say to my family? Who am I? A northern, a southerner? Will people forget that I escaped from the North because I was discriminated against?"

 (Thomas Han contributed to the article)

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