The meeting in Singapore on 12 June delivered to the world media some remarkable theatrics.
However it will be a couple of years before it is clear if the meeting will lead to any sustained improvements in the security of the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific area.
There are two totally opposite possible results from the meeting.
One possibility is that Mr Trump's disruptive approach gave to the North Korean problem a jolt of such significance and uniqueness that North Korea will indeed de-nuclearize.
The other possibility is that Kim Jong-un 'played' Mr Trump, using the preening ego of the President to achieve a remarkable con-job for North Korea.
Experts on the North Korean problem point to the series of apparent breakthroughs by a sequence of US Administrations which subsequently turned to dust.
However we should 'give peace a chance' and wait until the outcome is clear.
In the meantime other implications of the Singapore Summit need to be assessed.
Firstly, Mr Trump's rapid undertaking to stop the 'war games' between South Korea and the US and allies represents a huge concession to the North, and also represents a substantial win to China. The cavalier method that Mr. Trump adopted in announcing this ceasing of the 'war games' said a great deal about Mr. Trump himself and also gives further fuel to the increasing discomfort of US allies around the world.
South Korea may soon be faced with some difficult options. If an eventual agreement between the United States and North Korea is reached and it only addresses the threat North Korean missiles have to the continental United States then this will leave South Korea and Japan out in the cold. It would then be likely that both South Korea and Japan gave urgent consideration to adopting nuclear weapons.
At the Summit and in the various comments after the Summit there was some vague suggestion of the unification of the North and the South. The practicality of this seems remote. The example of such a reunification would be West Germany and East Germany in 1990. North Korea is today a very different country than East Germany was in 1990, and a vastly more difficult entity to assimilate. It is inconceivable Kim Jong-un would in some way stand aside to allow the South to gobble up the North or to allow the introduction of democracy into North Korea. And it is beyond belief that China would wish to see a reunification of the Koreas under a democratic and pro-Western system.
From the Australian perspective, the Singapore Summit is but one of a series of shocks to the Australian body politic in the Trump era, leading to a questioning of Australia's trust of its relationship to the United States under the ANZUS Treaty, and Australia’s position in Asia. In a sense this may be timely. As China more overtly seeks to dominate the Asian area it is appropriate for Australia to reconsider its position and the strength of its alliances. In such a reassessment the following major policy issues need public discussion in Australia.
Firstly, what does Australia do in terms of its defence if it can no longer rely on ANZUS?
Secondly, is Australia's allocation of just 2 percent of its GDP to defence adequate?
Thirdly, the 'we'll be alright mate' concept underlying Australian society may need to give way to a recognition that a 'Big Australia' - in terms of population and immigration - is essential simply for the defence of the country.
Fourthly, Australia may wish to reconsider any move towards a republic and a more disconnected relationship with the United Kingdom. In a fast-changing Asia, Australia may consider that a close connection to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, including India, represents one plank of its future security.
Fifthly, if South Korea and Japan went nuclear, and if the ANZUS Treaty became questionable, then the concept of Australia itself adopting nuclear weapons would become a more understandable course of action.
So the Singapore Summit may possibly lead to a substantial reduction in the risks posed by a nuclear-powered North Korea. But even if so, the resulting changes in Asia and the questions about the future worth of the protection available to Australia under its military relationship with the USA suggest the need for an adult conversation in Australia about its future defence stance.
Mike B. Bradshaw has been an officer of the Treasury, Canberra, an investment banker, and a consultant in Europe, the USA and Asia. He now works on project financing.
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