OPINIONS No bargaining is abnormal for two sincere negotiators


No bargaining is abnormal for two sincere negotiators


03:40, March 23, 2019


(Photo: AP)

It's understandable to find someone to blame for the frustration you experience, especially when you hold high expectations and invest arduous efforts into something. The "harsh tone" recently heard from both Pyongyang and Washington, therefore, is reasonable and there's no big fuss at all after an inconclusive event.

The tactics for bargaining are inevitable for sincere negotiators, no mention to the two countries with so many differences and nearly 70-year-old hostility.

The criticism from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) apparently escalated against the U.S. at a gathering in Pyongyang on March 15. 

Choe Son Hui, DPRK's Vice Foreign Minister, blamed the two top-level U.S. negotiators, namely, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, for derailing the talks.

However, considering the rounds of personal attacks between the two leaders last year, the attitude on both sides is far softer today. 

The two leaders have refrained from criticizing each other after the failed Hanoi summit. Vice Minister Choe even praised their relationship saying their "chemistry is mysteriously wonderful." 

After meeting twice, the two leaders now have more endurance and understanding of each other. Lesser misunderstandings indicate toward better chances of the two finally reaching a bigger deal.

It's critical to mention strategic targets of the bargain in the negotiating process.

Obviously, the two sides across the Pacific possess a common understanding of the denuclearization of the Peninsula which would benefit the DPRK by lifting economic sanctions and favor Trump in his re-election bid. 

Notwithstanding, it's mission impossible for the two countries to move ahead shoulder to shoulder during the progress of the talks considering the huge visible gap, let alone each side is keen to take control of the pace of the negotiations.

We could see it clearly from the U.S. canceling the first summit just ahead of the scheduled meeting time and Kim delaying his Hanoi trip several times.

Apart from the technical factor, the domestic political ecosystem would also play a big role in shaping the talks. Trump, therefore, accused domestic political powers of hampering the peaceful cause in Hanoi.

The denuclearization process will need both diplomatic efforts and technical support from professionals. 

It's predicted that the negotiations may last for a decade given the huge trust deficit between the two sides and the complexity of this issue.

The problem here is, Trump has no ten years in the White House even if he could win the election in 2020. Six years at most he has and of course, he is not willing to let his successor take the laurel from his hands. And this also partly explains why some people in the U.S. think it's better to have no agreement than having a bad agreement. 

In this regard, disputes between the two negotiators are not completely useless. Both sides can learn from the past and remain firm about final targets.

There could be a higher rate of success to fulfill the ultimate goal if more emergency management solutions are prepared. Besides, some unconventional arrangements could also be considered.

The two summits have managed to break the ice between the two leaders and therefore, Pyongyang and Washington still have time and space to fulfill the task of reaching a "win-win" deal.   

What is sure is that more players would be needed along with the U.S. and the DPRK on the road to the denuclearization of the Peninsula. 

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