The negotiations had barely begun when the Master Negotiator walked out. It was a bizarre move. Was it a negotiation tactic? But the Master Negotiator did not return to the table. He went straight to his plane and returned home, even as the negotiation had been scheduled for 2 days! No deal, no victory, no compromise and no counter offer.
The art of the deal climaxed in an orgasmic act of disappearance, like a Houdini magical moment. So ended the 2nd USA-DPRK Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 27–28 February 2019.
It was the 2nd Summit meeting between the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — often wrongly referred to as “North Korea” — and US President Trump. Their 1st meeting in Singapore was on 12 June 2018.
In their 1st Singapore Summit on 12 June 2018, US President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Immediately after the 1st Singapore Summit, the DPRK dismantled their nuclear test and satellite launch site at Sohae and shut down a long range missile factory near Pyongyang. DPRK in fact has not conducted any nuclear weapon test or fired any inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 28 July 2017. DPRK also concluded peace agreements with South Korea committing to perpetual peace and no war. US President Trump in fact declared that Pyongyang was “no longer a Nuclear Threat” after the 1st Singapore Summit, and cancelled joint military exercises between the US and South Korean Air Forces in the Korean peninsula. That was indeed the art of the deal, masterly executed in accordance with Trump’s best-selling book “The Art of the Deal”.
In the US account of the 2nd Summit, DPRK has agreed to completely dismantle its nuclear facility at Yongbyon — a key major US demand — in return for lifting the entire 11 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions. However, in a midnight press conference, DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho clarified that DPRK only wanted relief from just 5 UNSC resolutions from 2016 and 2017 in exchange for the complete dismantlement of its Yongbyon nuclear facility. The US also made an unknown request.
Not on the table was US security guarantees for DPRK, as promised during the 1st Singapore Summit, which is the major key to fully unlock Korean denuclearization. The US has yet to unveil its framework proposal for DPRK security guarantees as promised.
BASIC NEGOTIATION POINTERS
· Know your Goals — What is your Final Settlement Objective?
· Take your Time — Progress is iterative; patience is key.
· Trade-Off vs Trade-Up — Compromise is necessary; trade-off to trade-up.
· Win-Win Outcome — Both parties win when they get what they want.
· Never Give Up — The longest journey is completed with one step in front of another.
KEY LESSONS — Trump’s Art of The Deal as summarised by Derek Wydra of www.Growth.me.
In negotiations, it is the most important common-sense to trade off what is of little or no value in return for the main goal(s) with its greatest value. This was ignored in Hanoi by the US Team. Walking away was contrary to his own Lesson 8 — “Many people became successful simply because they did not give up, even with a total lack of encouragement.” It was a fatal miscalculation, in a misguided anticipation of Lesson 10 — “If a deal doesn’t feel right then it pays to be patient, another opportunity will come sooner or later.” Unfortunately, that opportunity never came.
The 5 UNSC Resolutions in DPRK’s offer package:
Resolution 2270 builds upon sanctions measures from prior resolutions, including:
· Expanding the arms embargo to include small arms and light weapons.
· Prohibiting North Korea from servicing and repairing any weaponry sold to third parties.
· Prohibiting additional luxury goods.
· Mandatory inspections on cargo destined to or originating from North Korea.
· Asset freeze on all North Korean government and Worker’s Party entities associated with prohibited activities.
· Designated an additional 16 individuals and 12 entitles for asset freezes and travel bans.
· New financial sanctions place limits on banking activities of North Korean entities abroad including:
- Prohibiting UN member states from hosting North Korean financial institutions that may be supporting proliferation activities in North Korea.
- Prohibiting states from opening new financial institutions or bank branches in North Korea.
- Requiring states to terminate existing joint ventures within ninety days of the adoption of the resolution.
· Repatriate North Korean or other foreign nationals found to be working on behalf of a Security Council resolution-designated entity.
· Chartering or leasing vessels to North Korea, or providing crew services to North Korea or North Korean entities.
· Selling or supplying aviation fuel to North Korea so that it cannot be diverted to its ballistic missile program.
· Calls on all members to reduce the number of staff at DPRK diplomatic missions and consular posts.
· Condemns the DPRK for pursuing nuclear weapons instead of the welfare of its people.
· Emphasizes, for the first time, the need for the DPRK to respect the inherent dignity of its people in its territory.
· Imposed new sanctions that prohibit North Korea from:
- Exporting minerals, such as copper, nickel, silver, and zinc.
- Selling statues.
- Selling helicopters.
- Selling or transferring iron and iron ore, with exceptions for livelihood purposes.
- Selling or transferring coal in amounts that exceed a particular cap annually.
· Limit the number of bank accounts held by diplomats and missions.
· Suspend scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea, except for medical purposes.
· Added additional items to the list of prohibited dual-use technologies and designated additional individuals and entities to subject to asset freezes and the travel ban.
· Regrets North Korea’s massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs.
· Reaffirms the Council’s support for the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, reiterates its support for commitments made by the Six Parties, and reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
· Decides North Korea shall not deploy or use chemical weapons and calls on North Korea to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention and comply with its provisions.
· Bans the export of several materials, which previous sanctions resolutions had restricted the export of, including:
- Iron and iron ore.
- Lead and lead ore.
· Adds new sanctions against North Korean individuals and entities, including the Foreign Trade Bank (FTB).
· Prohibits joint ventures between North Korea and other nations.
· Allows for the Security Council to deny international port access to vessels tied to violating security council resolutions.
· Bans countries from allowing in additional North Korean laborers.
· Reiterates its deep concern at the grave hardship that the people in the DPRK are subjected to, condemns the DPRK for pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles instead of the welfare of its people.
· Reaffirms its support for the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, and reiterates its support for the commitments set forth in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 issued by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States.
· Fully bans textile exports.
· Caps refined petroleum product imports at 2 million barrels per year.
· Freezes the amount of crude oil imports.
· Bans all natural gas and condensate imports.
· Prohibits member states from providing authorizations for North Korean nationals to work in their jurisdictions, unless otherwise determined by the committee established UNSCR 1718.
· Imposes asset freezes on additional North Korean entities, including the Organizational Guidance Department, the Central Military Commission and the Propagation and Agitation Department.
· Directs the 1718 committee to designate vessels transporting prohibited items from North Korea.
· Bans all joint ventures or cooperative entities or the expansion of existing joint ventures with DPRK entities or individuals.
· Added additional items to the list of prohibited dual-use technologies and designated additional individuals and entities.
· Caps North Korean refined petroleum imports at 500,000 barrels per year.
· Establishes an annual limit of crude oil imports at four million barrels per year.
· Obligates the Security Council to impose additional caps on petroleum imports if North Korea tests another nuclear weapon or ICBM.
· Directs countries to expel all North Korean workers immediately, or in two years at the latest.
· Bans North Korean exports of food, agricultural products, minerals machinery and electrical equipment.
· Bans North Korea from importing heavy machinery, industrial equipment and transportation vehicles.
· Designates an additional 16 individuals and 1 entity to the UN sanctions list.
DO SANCTIONS MATTER?
None of the above 5 UNSC sanctions is related to DPRK nuclearization program, none even materially relevant to nuclear capability development.
The sum of these 5 UNSC sanctions are clearly intended to inflict intolerable and unbearable crippling hardship and suffering on the DPRK people, in the misguided hope that they could actually influence their government!
Historically, sanctions have never worked as intended. Take Vietnam for example, who suffered trade sanctions for 19 years even after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. After total sanction was lifted in 2016 by President Obama, Vietnam in the decade following grew fastest in the region to overtake the ASEAN countries today.
GOOD FAITH NEGOTIATION CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS
As he waited for that “opportunity” (Lesson 10) to re-boot negotiations with DPRK, it never did. The DPRK evidently considered the walking away by President Trump as a mark of bad faith negotiation and rude disrespect (remember Trump’s Lesson 5?). It was a lost opportunity to create and engage the future.
President Trump missed his history-making moment in Hanoi 2 years ago. Perhaps, future Summits between DPRK and USA are no longer necessary or important since true peace has already arrived at the Korean Peninsula where the Korean people are concerned. It is time for the world to accept and embrace the Korean Peace.