Fresh hopes for cancelled Trump-Kim meeting

On the money: Before the summit was cancelled, the US released a special coin in its honour.

Should the leaders of the US and North Korea meet? They agreed to do so. Then President Trump changed his mind. Now, many believe that the plan is changing once more. A lot is at stake…

What’s happening

A week ago, US President Donald Trump shocked the world by cancelling his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Now it may be back on. Senior officials from the countries have spent a week in emergency meetings trying to save it. Trump hinted that it may still happen, possibly on June 12.

Find out more

Kim claims that he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons. The point of the summit was to discuss how this could happen, and what North Korea would get in return. As a show of goodwill, the country destroyed its nuclear test site last week.

However, after the countries traded threats and insults, North Korea warned of a “nuclear showdown”. Trump then cancelled the summit, blaming the country’s “tremendous anger and open hostility”.

Yet top representatives from the two nations (and South Korea) have continued to visit each other, working out what the summit might involve if it happens. This kind of preparation normally takes months — even years — but if the meeting is to happen on June 12, they only have days.

Should Trump and Kim meet?

Some say…

Of course! No US president has ever met a North Korean leader before. Until recently, many feared that the two nations would go to war; now they have a historic chance to make peace. Kim wants his nation to become modern and wealthy, and he knows that will not happen unless he denuclearises. Trump must do everything he can to make that happen.

Others think…

It is not that simple. North Korea has often promised to denuclearise, then broken its promise. This summit would not achieve anything, especially given how rushed the preparations are. Trump has already got Kim to destroy a test site, release US prisoners, and more. By cancelling the summit, the dealmaker-in-chief walked away at the right time.

You Decide

  1. Is a world in which all nations get along possible?

Activities

  1. Imagine the summit happens, and you are allowed to attend. Prepare a short statement to read to Trump and Kim. If you feel confident, read it to the class.

Some People Say...

“The worst of times often create the best opportunities to make good deals.”

Donald Trump

What do you think?

Word Watch

Summit
A meeting between government leaders.
Goodwill
A friendly or cooperative attitude.
Historic
Important in history. Do not confuse with “historical”, which means that something happened in the past, but was not necessarily important.
Denuclearises
Gets rid of nuclear weapons.
Dealmaker-in-chief
A commonly used nickname for Trump. It comes from the image he likes to project of himself as an experienced dealmaker.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.