Commentary on the US-DPRK Summit

On 15 June, the President and Secretary General of Pugwash issued a short commentary on the recent summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.

The historic first meeting between a sitting US President and North Korean Leader was an auspicious first step that provides a good foundation on which to build substantive agreements in the future. Although the summit itself did not produce any dramatic achievement it is nevertheless an important landmark in the effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons and prevent conflict in North East Asia. The joint statement issued following the meeting was short on commitments; but mutual confidence building at this time can provide a basis for a process that reduces fear and suspicion and reverse the spiral of confrontation. However, we caution that past agreements between the US and DPRK have contained similar vague language and ambiguous commitments, and have consequently failed to be respected. We call upon the US and DPRK, as well as other states of the international community who can support these efforts, to engage in a sustained and meaningful diplomatic process that will conclude an agreement on a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and further efforts to build confidence. This would provide a much-needed success on the road to realize the common aspiration of a world free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

Sergio Duarte, President
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General