Kim’s speech offers hope peninsula progress won’t stall
Editor’s note: In his New Year speech, Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, stressed Pyongyang’s determination for a denuclearized peninsula — the DPRK will not make or test nuclear weapons — and that he is ready for a second meeting with US President Donald Trump anytime. Beijing News comments on Wednesday:
It is good to see that Trump echoed Kim’s sentiment saying on Twitter that he looks forward to meeting with Kim.
Looking back just one year reveals how far the situation has improved. In his New Year speech last year, Kim warned Washington that the nuclear button is on his desk, and Trump responded tit-for-tat saying that the US’ nuclear capabilities were bigger and stronger.
Nowadays, Pyongyang has diverted its attention to the economic construction of the country, which Kim also reiterated in his speech in a candid way. It is clear that as long as its security concerns are addressed, the DPRK has no reasons to resort to nuclear weapons for self-defense.
That Pyongyang has taken the initiative to resolve the prisoners’ dilemma on the peninsula deserves Washington’s reciprocal response. Hopefully, a widely anticipated second meeting of the two leaders, if it happens, will further ease the deadlock, as the DPRK still suffers from sanctions aimed at ending its nuclear weapons tests and the US still maintains the threat from the strong military forces it has deployed in the Republic of Korea.
Removing these obstacles would enable the situation to continue to improve.
Despite the uncertainties, it is certain that Kim will demonstrate more self confidence and composure in his dealings with the world this year, not only because of what Pyongyang has done over the past year, but also because of his productive interaction with leaders of the Republic of Korea and China, which helped consolidate a regional consensus for denuclearization and peace, and deepened mutual trust.
This year will bring about historical opportunities for a denuclearized peninsula if all relevant parties can advance the good momentum achieved last year, and constantly deepen mutual trust through constructive dialogue. This is in line with the interests of all parties.