What is the status of the Singapore Summit agreement five months after the historic deal was signed by President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un?

The American press is highlighting a set-back on the path to peace.  North Korean officials are warning that the nation will begin strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country.

The statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Friday evening said North Korea could bring back its “pyongjin” policy of simultaneously advancing its nuclear force and economic development if the United States doesn’t change its stance. The North sopped short of threatening to abandon ongoing nuclear negotiations with Washington.

Still, it accused Washington of derailing commitments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump at their June summit in Singapore to work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It was the first time the North said it could potentially resume weapons tests and other development activities since Kim signaled a new state policy in April.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to talk next week with his North Korean officials, to remind them that Trump is serious about both sides keeping to the terms of the deal.

Pompeo did not provide the location and date for the meeting, which will likely be focused on persuading North Korea to take firmer steps toward denuclearization and setting up a second summit between their leaders.

“A lot of work remains, but I’m confident that we will keep the economic pressure in place until such time as Chairman Kim fulfills the commitment he made to President Trump back in June in Singapore,” Pompeo said.

However, the Korean press is reporting increasingly warm and friendly relations between the two Koreas. An agreement struck between North and South Korea mandates an end to all “hostile acts” against each other as part of a set of confidence-building measures.

The comprehensive military agreement, signed on Sept. 19 during their summit talks, took effect at the beginning of the day, banning hostility in every space: land, sea and air.

It also calls for the creation of buffer zones in border areas aimed at preventing accidental clashes and avoiding war.

The two sides are prohibited from conducting live-fire artillery drills and regiment-level field maneuvering exercises or those by bigger units within 5 kilometers of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).

No-fly zones have been established along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as well to ban the operation of drones, helicopters and other aircraft over an area up to 40 km away from the MDL.

The Koreas created peace zones near their disputed Yellow Sea border.

They have also agreed to completely destroy 22 front-line guard posts by the end of November.

They also agreed to conduct a joint survey early next month of a 70-kilometer (43-mile) -long waterway near their western border where civilian vessels from both countries eventually will be allowed to pass freely, according to a statement released after the general-level talks at the border village of Panmunjom.

The plans to remove the guard posts and jointly use the Han River estuary were among the commitments spelled out in the military agreement reached last month on the sidelines of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

…According to the statement provided by South Korea’s Defense Ministry, the Koreas agreed to complete the withdrawal of personnel, firearms and equipment and the destruction of the 11 guard posts from each side by the end of November. They plan to jointly verify the results in December.

Looking at the data points, I theorize Trump helping create a distraction so that the two Koreas can put an end to 70-years worth of hostilities in the manner that best suits their nations. Despite the seeming set-back reported in the American press, I project that the prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula will continue to grow over the next five months!


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