Why is the Trump-Kim ‘agreement’ breaking down?

American writer and academic James Petras says “the agreement” that was reached in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim John-un is breaking down because it was built on very fragile foundations.

James Petras, a retired Bartle Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, made the remarks in an interview on Saturday while commenting on the recent contradictory statements issued by Pyongyang and Washington regarding the talks between the two sides.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described his negotiations with officials in North Korea on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal as “very productive.”

“These are complicated issues, but we made progress on almost all of the central issues, some places a great deal of progress, other places there’s still more work to be done,” Pompeo told reporters as he was making departure for Tokyo after spending two days in Pyongyang.

Pyongyang, however, censured Washington’s “rapacious demands” and “extremely regrettable” attitude in a statement issued by the North Korean Foreign Ministry shortly after Pompeo’s comments.

“The US attitude and positions at the high-level talks on Friday and Saturday were extremely regrettable,” the ministry said in the statement, according to Yonhap news agency.

The statement said the result of talks with the US delegation was “extremely troubling,” accusing Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure North Korea into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

US expected North Korea to submit to its diktat Professor Petras said that the Trump-Kim agreement “was built on very fragile foundations because the North Koreans expect reciprocity in relationship to their idea of the denuclearization which essentially involves the US withdrawing its troops in South Korea, stopping the military exercises on North Korea’s border, and certainly ending economic sanctions.”

“Washington was not prepared to do that. They were expecting North Korea to submit to Washington’s diktat, and unilaterally take measures to lower their defenses. This is not acceptable to North Korea. And I think that the positive attitude that Washington expressed will fail. There is no basis for North Korea to accept disarmament after they recognize that the US disarming its adversaries leads to overthrow of the governments such as happened in Libya,” he stated.

“I think the Libyan example weighs very heavily on the North Korean leadership. Moreover as North Korea proceeded to negotiate with Washington, China recognizes that unless they prove their policies to North Korea and renounce the sanctions agreement they had with Washington they would lose a valuable strategic ally,” he added.

“So I think one can expect further setbacks to any negotiations ultimately leading to a breakdown. And I think the same could [happen] with Iran where Washington attempted to oppose its policies and has failed, and we find now that Iran has developed ties, deeper ties with China, Russia and India,” the analyst noted.

“So I think the policies of unilateral imposition that Washington pursued are doomed to failure even though the initial attempt to provide some cover for diplomatic successes has begun very recently but will not continue and will not succeed in improving Washington’s political influence in Asia,” he concluded.

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