The world is back to square one, as Donald Trump canceled the proposed summit with Kim Jong-un that was scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12. It is a big blow to the peace efforts that had been initiated by Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea. The camaraderie at the 2018 Winter Olympics and subsequent meeting on the DMZ between the two Koreas had raised hopes of peace in the peninsula. That has come to naught. The Independent UK reports that Kim, true to his word, has destroyed the nuclear test site in the presence of the global media that witnessed the demolition of tunnels at the Punggye-Ri site, which, according to Pyongyang, was proof of its commitment to end nuclear testing.

However, Trump has canceled the summit.

Reasons behind the decision

While canceling the summit, Donald Trump has blamed the increasingly hostile rhetoric from Pyongyang. He had already dropped hints that secret negotiations in preparation for the June 12 summit were not progressing satisfactorily. Therefore he has finally decided to pull out of the meeting. The US president had nurtured hopes of evolving a deal to bring peace in the region and go one-up on his predecessors. It would have been a creditable feat for him because former presidents had failed to do so. His dreams have vanished, but he has ended his letter to Kim Jong-un on a positive note. He has indicated that the door was open to working out fresh dates for the summit provided situations improved.

No one wants a nuclear war

2018 had started off on a positive note when Kim Jong-un reactivated the hotline with the North but, within six months, the situation has changed dramatically. The possibilities of normalizing relations between the two Koreas with consequent return of peace appears to be a distant dream. The fears of a nuclear war had receded but, it could raise its head again.

Both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are unpredictable leaders and have had several rounds of verbal duels in the past. The summit in Singapore was a sensitive issue and the administrators on both sides should have handled it with kid gloves. Instead, they have stirred up a hornet’s nest by their comments.

Trump, in his letter to Kim, has brought up the subject of nuclear capabilities and cautioned that the capabilities of the North will be no match against that of the United States.

The fact remains that, if both have their fingers on the buttons, the result will be a catastrophe. The solution could lie with Moon Jae-in. He has always wanted the reunification of the two Koreas and he will have to try and retrieve the situation.