Trump returns to UN General Assembly with new tone towards DPRK

UN General Assembly

President Donald Trump talks to Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, at the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, at U.N. Headquarters. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Diplomats and dignitaries from the United Nations’ 193 member nations are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly meeting. U.S. President Donald Trump is attending his second UNGA meeting since taking office. But this time around, his attitude towards some countries has taken a strikingly positive turn.

CGTN’s Nathan King filed this report from New York.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” President Trump said to the U.N. General Assembly just last year. But what a difference a year makes.

Back then, the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) were threatening nuclear war. Now, the two countries are engaged in a fragile, but real, diplomatic process.

In New York, South Korean President Moon Jae-in briefed Trump on his recent Pyongyang summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

Moon shared a special message from Kim to Trump.

“Chairman Kim conveyed unwavering trust and expectations in you,” he said. “You are indeed the only person who can solve this.”

President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In participate in a signing ceremony for the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement at the Lotte New York Palace hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

While a second summit between the DPRK and U.S. leaders is being planned, Trump’s diplomatic team is skeptical that Pyongyang is ready to disarm.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign of sanctions and diplomatic isolation will continue until the DPRK denuclearizes.

“We expect the full, complete, verified denuclearization of North Korea,” Pompeo said. “And until such time as that occurs, the economic sanctions – the sanctions that were put in place by the United Nations Security Council – will remain in place.”

South Korea and others in the region, including China, prefer a more incremental approach, offering concessions as Pyongyang moves towards denuclearization. This approach between the two Koreas has already led to a significant decrease in tensions.

Brai Odion-Esene discusses diplomacy at the UN General Assembly

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke to Brai Odion-Esene about trade and diplomacy. He’s the founder of the public policy advisory firm, SW4 Insights.