Stone Washington
U.S.-North Korean Summit: Peace returns to the Korean Peninsula
By Stone Washington
June 28, 2018

"Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace."

~President Donald J. Trump

Introduction to the U.S-North Korean Summit

On Tuesday, 12 June 2018 an historic and momentous meeting transpired that shifted the tide of the Korean War (1950-53). The meeting was held in the luxurious Capella Resort in Singapore, between American President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. This marked the first ever summit meeting between an American President and an North Korean leader in history. The two parties assembled under the intention for talks of formulating lasting peace between the United States, North Korea, and South Korea, ushering a new era of friendly relations between the three nations unseen since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945 and subsequent Korean War.

Throughout the historic summit, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un participated in a comprehensive, exhaustive, and sincere series of multi-lateral talks regarding issues related to the establishment of renewed U.S.-DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula through absolute, verifiable nuclear disarmament. The meeting involved top delegates and officials from both sides and lasted for the majority of the day, concluding with a mutually agreed upon joint peace statement In the joint statement, Trump and Kim both agreed to honor specific security guarantees for North Korea, newly established peaceful relations, a reaffirmation for Kim to denuclearize the entire Korean Peninsula, assurance that the U.S recovers soldiers' remains from the Korean War, and a series of follow-up negotiations between U.S and North Korean high-level officials in the near future.

In this essay I will analyze the most significant aspects of the U.S-North Korean summit, revealing the aspects of the joint peace statement and impact that it has upon U.S-Korean relations. The article will examine the history of the divide between North and South Korea, followed by the Korean War, which, according to many foreign policy analysts, is an ongoing conflict to this day. Nevertheless, I will explain how this conflict has greatly, if not completely, subsided as a result of this historic summit.

The Korean War: Divisions between the North and South

Following the end of World War II (1939-1945), President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, all met at Yalta on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula, from 4-11 February 1945. In the meeting, the leaders agreed to maintain spheres of influence in Asia, with the Soviet Union consuming the northeastern part of Asia, including North Korea, and the United States gaining control the southern part of China and South Korea below the thirty-eighth parallel. Shortly after this conference commenced, a bloody civil war in China between communist Chinese leader of the North, Mao Zedong, commanding a large, fanatical army of communists seizing control over Manchuria (after the Soviets pulled out), and ultimately defeating U.S.-backed Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Nationalist camp. Despite having some aid from American troops, Kai-shek's forces suffered heavily from poor economic conditions inherited from the Japanese, internal discord among his officers, and corruption. Another factor of Chiang's faults was the neglect of the Truman Administration, ignoring the report from General Albert Wedemeyer concerning the need for U.S training of Chiang's troops.

In 1949, Mao's troops crossed the Yangtze River, capturing the capital city, Nanking, resulting in all, minus the most loyal of Chiang's army, to disintegrate and be pushed entirely off the mainland to the island of Taiwan (Formosa). The United States blamed the "loss of China" on various policy errors and incompetent diplomacy, courtesy of the Truman Administration. The U.S played virtually no role in actual mainland battles, conducted mostly by both Chinese factions, the British, Australians, Indians, and New Zealanders.

Shortly after the World readjusted to the newly formed People's Republic of China, Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivered an unfortunate speech to the National Press Club, implying that Korea was no longer considered within the U.S containment zone. This suggested to Kim Il-sung, of North Korea, that the southern portion of the Korean peninsula could be acquired with minimal price and effort. Under the justification that the Nationalist leader of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, would attempt to unify the two Koreas under his authority, Kim launched a general attack on 25 June 1950, swiftly pummeling the ROK's (Republic of Korea) forces. The Soviet Union vowed not to get involved and Stalin responded to the conflict by prompting North Korea to "ask Mao for all the help."

American forces arrived in North Korea, following the approval of a United Nations vote, sending over a weak task force seeking to quell the conflict. The North Koreans easily overran Seoul and threatened to dominate the entire Korean peninsula. U.S reinforcements constructed a last-ditch perimeter defense around Pusan, Korea's largest seaport, able to finally repulse the overextended North Korean army. Utilizing the advantage of U.S sea power, the legendary General Douglas MacArthur launched a valiant amphibious invasion at Inchon, behind North Korean lines, seeking to encircle and exterminate the entire North Korean army. This risky move proved to be one of the most daring invasions in U.S military History.

American Marines took Wolmido Island in just 45 minutes, defeating all the entrenched defenders without losing a single American life. MacArthur then defeated 5,000-6,000 Korean troops in the harbor and surrounding areas. In less than 2 weeks, Allied U.S-South Korean troops cut all the way across Korea, regaining the Thirty-eighth parallel line – the original border that had sparked the war. Despite wanting to proceed further across the dividing line, MacArthur received orders from Secretary Defense Marshall not to do so. The Chinese defied predictions that that they wouldn't intervene in the war, under the prediction that they would be slaughtered if they crossed the Yalu River, a river on the border between North Korea and China. But in November 1950, the Chinese did unleash a major counter-offensive, with the uncommitted U.N. army having difficulty holding the line at the thirty-eighth parallel.

MacArthur grew increasingly critical of President Truman's blunders, and urged bringing the Taiwanese into the war, calling for intensive bombings of Chinese bases along with a blockade. According to A Patriot's History of the United States, General Omar Bradley warned President Truman that a full-scale war with China would equal the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time," causing President Truman to heed this warning. MacArthur's behavior was deemed as "rank insubordination" and dangerous by President Truman, who prompted to relieve him of duty, sparking a firestorm of rebuke from the public. MacArthur returned to Congress like a Roman conqueror returning from a prolonged conquest, addressing Congress to the many thunderous ovations to his decorated career. He boldly declared: "Old soldiers never die. They just fade away." Truman faced harsh criticism from the American public, who held MacArthur in the highest regard of any general.

The Korean War ended in a cease-fire in July 1953, and since no peace treaty was ever negotiated, the conflict is technically ongoing to this day. As a result of the war, a large area known as the Demilitarized Zone, occupied by soldiers from both sides, separates the two Koreas, constantly under the threat to erupt into violence. The Korean War had many devastating results, with roughly 33,000 Americans dying in battle, along with 100,000 wounded and 15,000 missing or made prisoners. Dozens of bloody battles and few memorable encounters ensued, similar to the Vietnam War. The North Koreans have since been under the protection of the Chinese, with each descendant of the Kim dynasty under the direct authority of Communist China, militarily, economically, and socially. Thus, created the decades of conflict and animosity that has allowed North Korea to bolster its nuclear armaments and visceral threats against humanity that exist to this day. That is... until President Trump arrived to the scene.

North Korea in Modern Day

The rogue Kim regime controlling North Korea poses one of the most dangerous threats to the U.S national security and the World at large. Attacking North Korea in attempts to liberate the nation from Communism places one in direct confrontation with China, which controls the northern half of the Korean continent as proxy state from behind the scenes. According to The Heritage Foundation's Solutions 2018: The Policy Briefing Book,

"The hermit regime has developed enough fissile material for 16 to 20 nuclear weapons, and conducted five nuclear tests between 2006 and 2016. Pyongyang had doubled the size of its uranium- enrichment facility, increasing not only the potential threats from an expanded nuclear weapons arsenal, but also the risk of nuclear proliferation."

North Korea has existed as a grave nuclear threat in conjunction with Iran and Syria, often assisting with their nuclear programs. More recently, North Korea has boasted full nuclear-strike capacity, declaring the ability to launch intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting major cities in the United States. In 2017, Kim Jong-un made bold threats to blow up Guam and attack coastal U.S cities, after unleashing a series of unwarranted nuclear missile tests. In March 2016, announcement from Pyongyang emerged, stating North Korea's intent for, "a military operation and plan to liberate South Korea and strike the U.S mainland." Much of Kim Jong-un's rhetoric has been dismissed as empty threats in the past, especially regarding the nation's repeated failures in desired range and targets concerning missile tests.

In recent accounts by both Vice Admiral James Syring, head of the U.S Missile Defense Agency, and Admiral William Gortney, it is safe to assume that North Korea has both the potential to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the U.S mainland along with the capacity to miniaturize a nuclear bomb to fit it within an ICBM. In all, North Korea has tested hundreds of missiles that could potentially strike U.S bases in Guam, and bases in Japan and South Korea, that pose the most direct threat to the Kim regime. On the Korean Peninsula, North Korea hosts approximately 1 million soldiers, with several million more in reserves, compared to the U.S military presence of 28,500. According to the 2018 Heritage Policy Briefing Book, "This presence makes an attack possible with little to no warning. Pyongyang's unprovoked acts of war in 2010 against a South Korean naval ship and a civilian-inhabited island were chilling reminders that its conventional forces remain a direct military threat."

Enter: President Donald Trump and the Korean Peace Summit (20 years before)

Since the beginning of the Trump Presidency in January 2016, President Trump has been openly critical of North Korea's unhinged nuclear threats toward the U.S and its allies. No stranger to the North Korean threat, Trump has warned about the growing animosity and the nuclear threat that the communist state poised to the World even back in 1999. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Trump warned, "Look at North Korea. North Korea is developing missiles like nobody has ever seen and we better do something rather quickly with that. Hopefully through negotiation, but we better do something rather quickly with them."

In contrast to President Trump successfully meeting with Kim Jong-un in a peace summit, Trump slams former president Bill Clinton in the 1999 interview for failing to have anyone attend a proposed summit during his presidency, "If spoken to correctly they will play ball. Look on another front what happened recently where Clinton has asked our so-called trade partners to come so we can renegotiate some fairness into trade right? They don't show up," Trump explains.

"They say we're not coming. Why would Germany show up? Why would France show up? Why would Japan show up? They've been ripping us off for years; so why would they come here? It's ridiculous. So it shows the lack of respect to the United States where he asks for a meeting, a summit and nobody shows... pretty sad Wolf."

Fast-forward to Tuesday 12 June 2018, where after multiple economic sanctions were placed on North Korea by the United Nations and the United States, President Trump would eventually accept a request from the South Korean delegation for President Moon Jae-in to meet with Kim Jong-un in an historic inter-Korean summit. This allowed for both leaders to cross the Demilitarized zone and formerly meet, one of only four times in History where leaders from both Koreas meet. The inter-Korean summit was held on 27 April 2018, at the Peace House in Panmunjom, the leaders of North and South Korea agreed to formally end the Korean War before the end of 2018 and confirmed the goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through mutual denuclearization. A proposed U.S-North Korean meeting in June, 2018 grew from this successful meeting between Korean leaders.

Trump initially canceled the U.S-North Korean meeting on Wednesday 23May after a senior North Korean official ridiculed Vice President Mike Pence, calling him a "political dummy," and warned the U.S that Pyongyang could inflict on America an "appalling tragedy that it has never experienced nor even imagined." But Trump's initial cancelation of the summit was brilliant, as it added greater pressure by Chinese and North Korean officials to humble their ways, and respectfully apologize in hopes that the U.S would reconsider scrapping the meeting.

The historic peace summit occurred perfectly, with President Trump utilizing his master negotiating tactics to sway leader Kim Jong-un to pledge to scrap any and all nuclear facilities in North Korea, putting an end to the country's nuclear ambitions entirely. Both sides met with their top officials and delegates, with such officials from the Trump Administration as: National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chief of Staff John Kelly; while on the North Korean side: Ri Yong-ho, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kim Yong chol, Vice Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, and Ri Su-yong, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. Both parties hosted a bilateral meeting and signed a joint statement for mutual peace:

  • The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

  • The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

  • Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In concluding, one has no choice but to commend to the exceptionally historic accomplishment of the Trump Administration in restoring peace to the Korean Peninsula; an incredible feat unimaginable by the past 12 Presidents since Harry S. Truman began the failed Korean War. President Trump has proved his mastery of deal-making and avoided a grave alternative by continuing the trend by presidents of the past like: Obama, Bush and Clinton, of appeasement to the North Koreans, which has only enabled them to bolster their nuclear capabilities and threaten the U.S and its allies with maniacal coercions of nuclear warfare. But a new sheriff has arrived with President Trump in charge, surpassing Kim Jung-Un's threats with his own, stating famously in a Tweet,

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

Thanks to President Trump's no-nonsense attitude and bold stance against the rogue Kim regime, America has broken a devastating curse that has plagued the Korean Peninsula and threatened the World for the past 65 years. Now both North and South Korea can coexist in peace, absent any threat of nuclear war, for the future ahead. Thank you President Trump!

© Stone Washington


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Stone Washington

Stone Washington is a PhD student in the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University. Stone is employed as a Research Fellow for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, focusing on economic policy as part of the Center for Advancing Capitalism. Previously, he completed a traineeship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also a Research Assistant at the Manhattan Institute, serving as an extension from his time in the Collegiate Associate Program. During this time, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Clemson's Department of Political Science and served as a WAC Practicum Fellow for the Pearce Center for Professional Communication. Stone is also a member of the Steamboat Institute's Emerging Leaders Council.

Stone possesses a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Clemson University, a Juris Master from Emory University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Clemson University. While studying at Emory Law, Stone was featured in an exclusive JM Student Spotlight, highlighting his most memorable law school experience. He has completed a journalism fellowship at The Daily Caller, is an alumnus of the Young Leader's Program at The Heritage Foundation, and served as a former student intern/Editor for Decipher Magazine. Some of Stone's articles can be found at, which often provide a critical analysis of prominent works of classical literature and its correlations to American history and politics. Stone is a member of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, and has written a number of policy-related op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The College Fix, Real Clear Policy, and City Journal. In addition, Stone is listed in the Marquis Who's Who in America and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Friend him on his Facebook page, also his Twitter handle: @StoneZone47 and Instagram. Email him at


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