Three words, twenty one letters, say it and I’m yours… Nuclear. Foreign. Affairs. While this topic is about as complicated as the Chuck and Blair romance saga, we figured we would try to break it down as best we could.
Let’s just start with this: India and Pakistan are still fighting, and the U.S. and North Korea are still far from coming to an agreement over sanctions and denuclearization.
History of Pakistan and India (and Kashmir):
Britain, which held colonial rule over India for over 100 years, left the subcontinent in 1947. Upon its departure, it split the land into two parts: India and Pakistan. However, ever since Britain left, the countries have been disputing over who has the rights to the border region of Kashmir. It's currently divided into three main parts: Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan-controlled Kashmir), Jammu and Kashmir (India-controlled Kashmir) and Aksai Chin (China-controlled Kashmir). Pakistan and India are the main sources of conflict, as they both believe they have the right to each others’ land, and neither are willing to sacrifice the land they currently have.
What happened recently to spark tensions (again):
On Feb. 14, a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into an Indian military bus, killing at least 40 people. The bomber was a Jammu and Kashmir resident, India’s only Muslim majority state. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group based in Kashmir, claimed responsibility for the attack. Following the attack, the Indian government carried out airstrikes on Pakistani territory. In response to this, the Pakistani military claims to have shot down two Indian planes and to have captured one of the pilots. He has since been returned to India in an effort to ease the heightened tensions.
Now let’s switch gears: What happened between Trump and Kim?
While President Donald Trump seemed to be in high hopes going into the Vietnam summit, he left with no signing ceremony and no luncheon ending the summit early. However, he did leave with raving reviews of Kim, calling him, “quite a guy, quite a character.” Basically, the goal of the summit was to come to an agreement regarding sanctions and denuclearization. The U.S. was willing to propose lifting sanctions on North Korea, which are hurting its economy, if North Korea would destroy all its nuclear weapons. Past presidents have tried to make a similar agreement and failed as well.
Did they come to any agreement?
Once again, the meeting did not go quite as planned. Kim was willing to give up almost none of his weapons without sanctions being lifted first, and Trump was not willing to lift sanctions before Kim began denuclearization.
Since the meeting, South Korean intelligence officials have reported that North Korea has already begun rebuilding facilities for their ballistic missile program.
Although the meeting was cut short, and no agreements came of it, at least we know one thing: Trump and Kim exchanged some “beautiful letters” that they both will cherish forever — hopefully.