‘Trump-Kim summit unlikely to have great impact on world’

July 02, 2018

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Javed Jabbar speaks at the event.—White Star
Javed Jabbar speaks at the event.—White Star

KARACHI: Expressing his views on the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un held earlier in June and its impact on world politics, former senator and federal information minister Javed Jabbar said it was not expected to have any great impact globally. “Here is USA, the bully telling little North Korea to denuclearise and putting undue focus on them while forgetting about the other nuclear weapon states, including the United Kingdom,” he said at a programme held at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) here on Saturday.

Explaining more in depth the regional implications of the summit, Mr Jabbar said there were seven. “First, there is a population difference between North and South Koreas with 25 million as the population of North Korea and 51 million people in South Korea. But the bigger difference is between the economies of both Koreas with North Korea having a GDP of $25 billion and South Korea of $1.4 trillion. Kim Jong-un’s own assets are worth $5 billion,” he said.

The second regional implication, he said, was that US aid going to South Korea. The third one was about the relations between America and China and China’s relationship with both North and South Koreas. The fourth implication was the intense relationship of both Koreas with Japan during World War II with the fifth one having to do with Russia’s helping North Korea in war against the US. The sixth implication could be the fallout on ASEAN countries while the seventh would be how all the countries of the world were affected in the global context of the summit.

“There are so many things to consider in a bilateral summit such as this,” said Mr Jabbar. “There are also things such as conflict management and conflict resolution to think about with countries such as Vietnam and Japan, both of which enjoy friendly relations with the US,” he said.

“Will this be a model for others to follow?” he said. “But it would be a deceptive model,” he answered his own question, adding that dramatic summits such as that did not really take place in a vacuum as there must have been many secret meetings and talks preceding it.

“There is too much asymmetry here,” he said. “Can there be two nations so different as North Korea and the US holding a summit? It is for the first time in the nuclear weapon history that such a small country such as North Korea decides to threaten America. You don’t see small countries with small populations and a deficient economy challenging giants. Among the nine nuclear states this is the only one to make such a strong song and dance about their weapons,” he said.

“Finally,” he pointed out that the summit would only have an impact in the bilateral sense as it would ease some tension between North Korea and America. “The world, meanwhile, will have to do its own work to protect itself from nuclear weapons.”

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018