The European Union endorsed the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, describing it as a “critical and necessary step” for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Brussels, however, used the occasion to remind that the Iran nuclear deal was part of the same diplomatic track.
“This summit was a crucial and necessary step to build upon the positive developments achieved in inter-Korean relations and on the peninsula so far,” the head of the European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement. She emphasized that the main objective of the international community remained “the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”. This is an established formula to describe a situation in which Pyongyang will allow inspections and won’t rebuild any weapons it gives up. “The joint statement signed by the US and DPRK leaders today gives a clear signal that this goal can be achieved,” Ms. Mogherini expressed her optimism.
EU diplomacy chief confirmed that the EU was ready to facilitate any further discussions and summits between the US and North Korea. Despite the positivity in Brussels, most observers are skeptical as to whether the landmark summit achieved anything tangible at all. While the US leader announced that his country would stop military exercises with South Korea and Japan – which he didn’t tell his allies in advance – Mr. Trump did not get anything solid in return. The joint statement of the two leaders leaves out the words “verifiable and irreversible” and thus questions whether any new commitments from North Korea can be expected.
Despite the mixed results, the US-North Korea summit was also praised by NATO, whose Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented: “NATO strongly supports all efforts leading towards the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. A Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons will contribute to the security of NATO allies and of our partners in the region, and to the security of the entire global community.”