Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

The Singapore Statement: Broad, Vague, but 'I'll Take It'

Instead of the grand, historic nuclear deal to end all nuclear deals that President Trump had promised, we got a 360-word statement from Singapore that was broad in scope and vague in wording. But I’ll take it. 

Going into this summit, I was concerned about what President Trump might offer in terms of security assurances in order to nail down a historic deal. My fear was that assurances such as agreeing to withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea would leave that country vulnerable to an untrustworthy North Korea.

A Historic Handshake

There’s no denying it: This was a historic handshake. It’s the first time the leaders of North Korea and the United States — two countries that remain locked in a state of war — have held a summit. 

To see President Trump and Kim Jong Un shaking hands warmly and chatting so easily was both stunning and chilling. It’s a powerful moment that augers a change in the tense relationship between these two countries. But it also legitimizes the path Kim took to get here: Building and testing illicit nuclear weapons that have the potential to wreak unimaginable destruction.

‘Kim Jong Un, International Statesman’

Simply by landing in Singapore in a 747, Kim Jong Un is doing something his late father, Kim Jong Il, never did: fly to a foreign country. And now we are seeing him interact with foreign leaders in real time, away from the bubble and protection of North Korea’s tightly controlled state media. It’s a remarkable moment for a country long called the Hermit Kingdom, and part of a carefully crafted strategy designed to make sure he continues to capture and captivate international media attention.

The Middle East: A Region in Chaos?

Last December, the Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace co-sponsored an event on turmoil across the Middle East with four experienced analysts and practitioners. We agreed to gather again a half-year later to review our observations and conclusions.

Event Recap: Road to NATO's Brussels Summit

“The overall core Brussels deliverable is a strong message of unity from all of the alliance.” - Kerry Buck, Permanent Representative of Canada to NATO

Recap written by the Canada Institute's Ben Richardson and Ewen Cameron

Singapore Center Stage

There was something inevitable about the choice of Singapore as a venue for the U.S.-North Korean Summit. Still, it was not a given. The Chinese wanted the event in China. Both Koreas reportedly wanted to revisit the Kim-Moon Summit venue at the DMZ. President Trump was enamored with the show biz potential of the DMZ but was finally persuaded that he should not be seen as visiting Kim on his turf. Another potential venue, Ulan Bator in Mongolia, was too far from the center ring of international media attention.

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