For the Record – Denuclearization not likely outcome of Trump-Kim summit

Jesse Day – February 26th, 2019

Donald Baker with a Korean man in the Korean countryside in the early 1970s.

(Courtesy Donald Baker)

On Wednesday, Donald trump will begin his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two are meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, to continue talks over ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

On this edition of Evolution 107.9’s For the Record we spoke to Donald Baker. Dr. Baker is a professor of Korean history and civilization in the University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies department. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Korean history and thought.

In addition, he teaches a graduate seminar on the reproduction of historical trauma in Asia, in which he leads graduate students in an examination of how traumatic events in Asia in the 20th century, such as the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the bombing of Hiroshima, partition of India, China’s Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields of Cambodia have been reproduced in eyewitness accounts, historiography, fiction, and film.

Dr. Baker predicts that the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim will not result in the denuclearization of North Korea, despite a tentative agreement in which Kim has agreed to stop some production of nuclear materials. Dr. Baker says Kim will be hoping to get Trump to try to convince the UN to lift sanctions on North Korean trade in an effort to mend its ailing economy.

“Trump doesn’t listen to Korea experts… they would have told him that the North Koreans want a meeting with a U.S. president to legitimize their regime, they also would have told him he wouldn’t get denuclearization right away. However, Trump wanted publicity and Kim Jong Un, and also Moon Jaye-In in South Korea, have learned how to flatter Donald Trump and that’s what he likes.” – Dr. Donald Baker, UBC Korean History and Civilization Professor