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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 116  Al Jazeera  April 27, 2018 10:32am-11:01am +03

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and it went on air about an hour ago i was watching it here something i'm allowed to do as a journalist but normal south koreans can't that's not allowed under law to watch north korean state t.v. bulletins they came up with a very brief mention from a news reader that this historic meeting was taking place saying too that they were doing everything and their leader was doing everything to try and defuse tensions on the korean peninsula so far they've shown no pictures though of this historic meeting would expect and then perhaps in about an hour and a half when north korean t.v. does one of its main news bulletins but i'm sure they're not going to report some of the comments that we've heard from kim for example he told his south korean counterpart that he'd like him to come to north korea but he might be a bit embarrassed by the road and rail systems in the north he said road travel was inconvenient that's something they would normally admit in north korea they normally say everything they have there is superior to anywhere else in the world
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and you would just say yourself games it recently experience around the bumpy roads . yeah i made the same journey that kim made by road today and we'll make again at the end of this meeting we're going now to a second stage of the summit meeting around the table in the peace house and this i think is where they're going to try and iron out the final declaration this summit has been a success in terms of the pictures the images and the body language the symbolism that so important that you're seeing here with this tree but of course others particularly those in washington d.c. want to see that there is real progress and a real willingness from the north korean side to engage on all issues and of course the most important one for the u.s. if they're going to go ahead with a meeting between kim and president trump is a north korean willingness to give up their nuclear weapons. their long range
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missiles and james how far do we think that these two leaders today all in their final statement to get grapple with those issues of great complexity and which lead to huge amounts of passions on both sides of that demilitarized zone are they prepared to grapple with that today or is this just the beginning of the process. i think there will be an intention to deal with these issues rather than any sort of deal on the issues they had one hundred minutes of talks before they paused for lunch and we're told they did talk about denuclearization we're told they did talk about efforts to get a permanent peace on the korean peninsula as i told you the korean war is still it legal terms still going on these are still enemies who do not have a peace treaty they want to get to grips with that but i don't think you're going to see a treaty signed today i may well be surprised by that we're going to have to watch
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in the next hour or so when the second substantial meeting takes place and after that we're hearing that kim's wife is coming over from the north to join the delegation and then there will be an official state banquet kim has bought a chef over from one of pyongyang's top restaurants where they're going to do a speciality of cold noodles that's a speciality from north korea that's caught on here in south korea in seoul just a short distance drive from here i'm told restaurants are selling out of cold noodles on this day and understand that part of the menu is going to be a swiss potatoes rusty nodding to the assumption that kim jong un spent some of his education at least in switzerland. absolutely under a fake name he was there in switzerland or the swiss boarding school so he and his
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sister who's here with him watching this and a key member of his delegation in fact one diplomat told me she now effectively plays the role of vice president in north korea she sewed for with this peace process after her involvement here during the olympics they obviously have experience outside north korea something that most people in this very isolated country do not so they only hear what is broadcast on state television and what is said in the state controlled newspapers for now that's very little and the key thing about what they're not being told is they're not being told at all about the other possible forthcoming summit which could happen within a month or six weeks and that's when kim sits down with donald trump now that is really going to be a big deal for the north koreans to change the narrative after decades and decades
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since the korean war talking about their mortal enemy the united states talking in recent months about the monster that is donald trump to prepare their people for a complete u. turn is something they're going to have to do very quickly and why james is there such a huge days of skepticism surrounding the north korean declared intention of freezing its nuclear program. because it's actually nothing new north korea has long said two things that sound a bit contradictory but you have to read all of their statements and actually i read a lot of the north korean statements and there's a lot of patchy language in there there's a lot of things that you can skip through but actually so. their basic arguments are quite logical they say we need army clear to terror and otherwise we go the way of saddam hussein or good afy we overturned by the u.s.
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who said how much they hate our government how much they hate our human rights so we need the nuclear weapons for that reason and then the other statement sounds a little contradictory but is we would like a denuclearized korean peninsula at some point in the future but it's a very lofty aim and they make all sorts of conditions has that changed are they really willing to sit down right now and say what you can have them you can have the i.a.e.a. to come in and investigate and make sure that we're not pursuing any secret nuclear program international inspectors can come in and look at our missiles are they really prepared to do that it will be a very big change if that is the case and also there's some concern that any kind of negotiations that might yield a statement of intent if nothing else missing out on what is a very important component of this hostility and that is that north korea's
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conventional weapons weaponry. yes you've got to remember this is a country and it's very old to talk about where all this is taking place the demilitarized zone because it's one of the most militarized there is on earth north korea has well over a million soldiers in its army yes some of its tanks are very rusty but they do have them and they do have the manpower they do have the guns and they do have the artillery which could be firing on the south korean capital well in range in seoul and on top of that you talk about nuclear well there are the so-called weapons of mass destruction biological weapons chemical weapons north korea is believed. i have those two as well as a pretty extensive cyber warfare capability so there's an immense amount of very
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very complex and difficult to get and what do you reckon will be the sequencing because sequencing will be important. well it's unlike most sequencing that you see at high level diplomatic events because normally the diplomats sit and work out all the details and bring in the presidents at the end to do the signing but here you've got two summits potentially the one that we're seeing now this historic summit but also another one that is likely to take place if the americans have no problem with what is achieved right now that is what is lights take place in a month or six weeks we're hearing that it's like it's a place in may or june with president trump there after that has to start really the wrong way round a process to go through all of the details my understanding from diplomats is that the u.s. side has said they want this all concluded within two years there may be
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a domestic political reason for that in the u.s. of course that would take us to the end of donald trump's first term and peace on a long running conflict like that would be obviously something that would be quite useful if you were seeking reelection in a u.s. presidential election campaign and so if indeed this is a president to the. donald trump summit what do the americans want to see result from this particular meeting. they want to see that the north koreans are serious i don't think it's just this meeting that they're relying on because as we know what was secret is now public that there has been ongoing discussions between first. the south korean the north korean intelligence services that started before the olympics and set up the visit of the north koreans to the winter olympics but the south koreans then bought in the cia
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as well and i can tell you from discussions with diplomats it really was only the south koreans the north koreans and the americans involved in these discussions other key u.s. allies were kept in the dark they did not know about the secret visit that was paid by mike pompei o in his last days as cia director photos of which have been released in the last couple of hours of course. peo is no longer director pompei oh he is in the last few hours become secretary of state. diplomats telling me he is well across this brief and will continue to be the person in charge although i think most of the work will not be done by the state department but by his former agency the cia right ok we're looking at the leaders and a very small group of advisers with and they're on a building foot bridge the significance of that. well
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this is a footbridge that was put in place it's been expanded recently by in this case confusion fusing by the united nations c'mon and this is to do with the history of the korean war it's not actually this area is not actually run by the united nations the united nations command refers to the united states south korea and their allies who are fighting but back in one thousand nine hundred fifty we had a different situation at the u.n. in new york china was not a member of the united nations at that stage russia pulled itself out from the activities of the security council and so the u.s. and its allies had taken up the flag of the united nations to fight the korean war it was the u.n. command for there were a korean war but very much with u.s. generals in charge so this again another symbol this is a some. the bridge between the two koreas between south korea and north korea and they after this they go back to peace house presumably sit down opposite one
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another again and get on with the business of hammering out some sort of agreement . some sort of declaration is what we're expecting i'm sure parts of it have been pretty written for the last couple of hours they have been resting and having lunch with our own delegations i think to mull over what the other side said in that first hundred minutes of talks to see where each side compacts give some ground i'm not ruling out i have no evidence for this that they weren't going over that lunch period communications perhaps phone communications between the two sides and they will now we're told try and hammer out in this final session the joint declaration we're told if they reach an agreement in the joint declaration it is likely that we will see both men on camera saw in that declaration and potentially both will speak about the declaration we
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also understand that both leaders are going to speak during the official banquet that is also going to be broadcast live will see it live because we're not sure whether the people of north korea will see it live it looks from what we're seeing on north korean television that later much later when they decide exactly what they want to broadcast a very edited version will be shown to people living over there on the other side of this divide to james given the vastness of the. nation and. other issues that are of particular interest to the americans as well what about their sensibly simpler. than that is to upgrade. to a full peace agreement i mean is that something that these two leaders could could plausibly achieve in this summit. it's something they
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can plausibly achieve i don't think i may be proved wrong i don't think that at this very early stage they could sit down and sign a peace treaty to end the korean war here and now it is a bit more complicated than that anyway when you look back to nine hundred fifty three in the truce or armistice that was signed south korea didn't actually sign that it was signed by what i've described as the u.n. come on basically be united states and its allies and north korea so i don't think that could be done here and now i am prepared to be surprised and that would also that would be a very important breakthrough. to take place if it did take place among the other things that go to work out is how this process proceeds from from now on certainly the contacts between the south and north will continue they don't go to work out quite how things work with the u.s. and if you do have a process when do you bring in the rest of the international community in the past
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we had something called the six party talks bringing in lots of regional players that i'm told is toxic to that idea in washington d.c. they don't want anything to do with that in the u.s. i think would like to continue this very much on a bilateral level it's negotiations with the north but there are other regional players who really want to look in on this japan remains very concerned when those missiles were flown last year some of them went straight over japanese territory they're very concerned about north korea and of course there's china as well which considers this area and particularly north korea and it has the best relations of any other country with north korea as its backyard it does not really want to see the u.s. and north korea reach a deal and it be left completely out of this so the chinese component is an important one to indeed. that was the concern that took since i lobbied to florida
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just a matter of. two weeks less than two weeks ago when he went there to make representations i think his nation is concerned about about the medium range missile capability of north korea. absolutely and i can tell you that it's not just the japanese when the winter olympics were taking place diplomats tell me that the u.s. was somewhat concerned that the south koreans weren't really bringing up those long range missiles enough with the north koreans they were not pressing their concerns of course the u.s. says well south korea is a key ally and it needs to raise our concerns too because of course among the things that the u.s. does for south korea is put it under its nuclear umbrella south korea doesn't have its own nuclear force it doesn't there are no new u.s. nuclear weapons stationed here on the korean peninsula at this stage but of course the u.s.
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is prepared to defend its allies and south korea is among those key allies that it is prepared to defend a lot of the talk to martine now and speculation is not just are we going to get a trump summit and i think that depends if the u.s. is satisfied with what's being going on here and they'll be debate i think in washington different voices mr pompei oh there is a hawk is pretty invested already in this process the national security advisor john bolton we know from his previous statements is very skeptical about trusting north korea he wants to push on the pressure i don't think he's going to be very happy with some of the handshakes and very happy images that you're seeing here they've got to decide whether to push ahead and then where and when to have the second perhaps even more important summit between kim and trump there are a number of different places that have been talked about one is to repeat it in the
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d.m.z. another summit in the same place other talks time and elsewhere in asia there are certain countries that have favorites there singapore is said to be a possible favorite or the capital of mungo. a place that summit could take take place i know the americans not too keen on the idea of beijing because that gives the chinese a seat at the table there also the possibility of somewhere in europe we mentioned the supreme leader kim went to boarding school it's believed in switzerland could they have it at the u.n. in geneva and there's one other important country that's been playing a back channel role in the diplomacy of the last eight months or so and that sweden its foreign minister margo will stream authorized expanded contacts with the north koreans and they've been playing a back channel passing of the messages to the u.s. and we've seen the north korean foreign minister riyadh hogue go to stockholm at one stage and i can even tell you at one point there was
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a plan for him to meet the then secretary of state rex tillerson in stockholm sweden is again a possibility the downside with facts is that kim would have to go all the way to northern europe and almost certainly have to borrow someone's plane to do so because the north koreans for all miss oil technology don't actually have any planes that could fly him in one stop to stockholm they probably have to borrow one of the swedes and can't stop thinking as i'm looking at these pictures of the two leaders leaders of north korea and south korea apparently deep in conversation looking very calm and relaxed in each other's company what a difference six seven eight months makes because it was at the general assembly in september of last year james you and i were there for it when we heard perhaps the most blistering rhetoric ever heard before from the left turn of the united nations general assembly where you had president trump. basically vallium to destroy
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another country. totally destroyed north korea is what he said if if if necessary he would do that and i've spoken to a. a number of different diplomats at the u.n. in new york and european capitals here on the korean peninsula and many of them will tell you that all of them i spoke to say yes sanctions is a factor in all of this the sanctions are beginning to bite different diplomats have different views on how much of an effect those sanctions are having at this stage but they say the north koreans really had worked out how the international community works they'd seen that if they launched a missile there be a statement by the u.n. security council if there was a nuclear test there'd be more sanctions by the u.n. security council they calibrated how the system worked and they felt they could deal with it then came the wild card and the wild card you've just mentioned is president trump and his language i can tell you that from high level sources at the
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u.n. it was immediately after that trump speech in the general assembly that the north korean foreign minister sought a meeting with the u.n. secretary general and at that meeting the north korean foreign minister for the first time suggested that a senior u.n. official travel to pyongyang something the u.n. had wanted to achieve for over a year so most diplomats i've spoken to say the unpredictability of trump changed things one other point about a potential meeting between kim jong un and donald trump as we see these two leaders chatting alone and together on that bridge in korean with no interpreters is that already president trump has floated doing exactly the say he has floated the idea that he could meet with kim he'd need an interpreter they both need interpreters because they don't speak each other's language but with no other
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officials a tall and i'm told by many diplomats they think that's a very bad idea because although kim is hard he's a he's ruled his country for over six years now he knows the issues of the peninsula korean. he knows the issues of nuclear weaponry very very well i can't be sure that the same is true of president trump and it's i mean president trump has been criticized a huge amount hasn't he for his lack of experience in the world of international diplomacy and geopolitics however his disrupting influence if you like might be. might be responsible for this in say many ways sidestepping the usual the usual facilities the u.n. the security council might have yielded some fruit which otherwise we might not have seen. yeah he doesn't like the diplomatic niceties but on this
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file perhaps it is works i have to say when you speak to diplomats they say this is the one file where perhaps trump has worked they look in dismay at the forthcoming decision that he has to make in the beginning of may on the iran nuclear deal most think that he probably is going to pull out on climate change on the middle east peace process on syria diplomats very worried about the direction the u.s. foreign policy is taking on this spoil the unpredictability of donald trump the very bellicose statements that he's made seem to have been the thing that has kick started these discussions and here you're seeing deep discussions going on between the two korean leaders we're watching every word they're saying i'm sure in a few hours time someone who is a korean lip reader will be on to this and we can work out exactly what they're
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saying because i can see kim's lips very clearly and i'm sure a libretto could work out what he's saying as a pity you did speak korean james among all your other talents interesting though sidestepping multilaterally. and by and large is donald trump and being credited for this but ultimately any kind of a range or any kind of deal will have to be within the within the parameters of the u.n. at least when it comes to verification of any kind of deal. yes i can tell you even to get here today my understanding from sources in new york is that the north korean delegation had to be cleared with the sanctions committee of the u.n. security council kim self isn't under sanctions but they wanted to check that there that everyone who crossed was not someone who was on the sanctions list and make sure that if necessary there were exemptions in place for anyone who was being
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sanctioned who crossed today i'm told those discussions were had in new york before these discussions could take place yes i think in the end even if the u.s. u.s. gets its way and pursues this very much on a bilateral basis so basically there are discussions between south korea and north korea which is starting and are underway as we watch them in these historic pictures and separately in a couple of weeks discussions at the highest level between trump and kim between the americans and the north koreans in the end there has to be an international framework for this in the end almost certainly it has to be stamped international law and that means that the highest court of international law for something like this is the u.n. security council so down the line i think it is likely that there would be some sort of security council resolution we're a very long way away from that but what we're hearing at the moment is the u.s.
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do not want a structure like we saw for the iran deal there we have the five members of the security council germany negotiating with iran the so-called p five plus one i do think it's worth looking at how the iran deal if trump pulls out of this is going to affect north korea for now north korea is not said very much about that all right james and thank you for that we're looking at pictures of the two leaders these are historic pictures of course at the north korean. supreme leader and the president of south korea. a lot in discussion apparently very serious but quite good natured this is the latest stage in this is sturrock summit they continue in just a little while stay with us here at al-jazeera we'll bring you everything live from the d.m.z. . maybe on al-jazeera. marking world press freedom day al-jazeera shines
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