No Trump-Kim Deal Without South Korea – Experts

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump. PICTURE: CBS News

SINGAPORE: Any deal that will see North Korea becoming denuclearised must include South Korea and China, analysts say.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump signed an agreement on Tuesday that will ultimately lead to the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.

But analysts say the devil will be the in the details, which technocrats must now sit down and figure out, and any deal must include the interests of the biggest players in the region – China and South Korea.

Speaking to a Johannesburg based Talk Radio, an Independent Economic Analyst, Ismail Lagardien said on Tuesday night that South Korea wants the peninsula to be denuclearised but it also wants to maintain relations with the US.

“The US has 32 000 soldiers stationed in the region,” Trump said.

South Korea is said to have been an important force behind the scenes, communicating between both countries as tensions escalated between them.

According to Lagardien, “issues on the table are likely to be the repatriation of bodies and the returning of prisoners to the US.”

“Ultimately, the deal signing was a public relations exercise, he said, and a “major victory”  for Kim, who has now been legitimised by Trump,” he added.

“Now the technocrats must sit down and work out the details and that’s what we must look out for,” he said.

Peter Fabricius, international relations expert at the Institute for Security Studies told POWER Drive’s Thabiso Tema on Tuesday afternoon that South Korea has always wanted to see North Korea denuclearised. He said South Korea will be critical going forward.

“Until now, North Korea has said it cannot make peace with its southern neighbour because it fears reprisal by the south’s ally, the US,” Fabricius said. 

“This agreement also means there could be peace between the north and south,” he added.