The Day After Historic Summit, Media Scrambles to Find Its Angle

by contributing writer Emily Colby

Recent times have seen major shifts in the relationship between President Trump and North Korean Leader, Kim Jung-un. In a matter of months, the two have gone from exchanging tweets threatening nuclear warfare, to exchanging pleasantries and handshakes like old, friendly colleagues. The summit that began last night between the two leaders brought with it, the suggestion of new horizons in the American-North Korean relationship.

Regardless of where you land on the political spectrum, no one can deny that last evening’s meeting in Singapore was historic. By definition, until last night, a joint meeting between a North Korean Supreme Leader and an active US President had never occurred.

The two leaders walked away from the Summit, after signing a joint statement that contained a total of four statements spelled out in less than one hundred words, or about twice the length of the character limit of a tweet:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

It has been admittedly difficult to interpret a very extensive outcome of the summit, due to the flood of dissenting voices within the media. Whether or not last night was ultimately a triumph depends on where you get your news. Some reports have already qualified yesterday’s meeting as a major success, others remain skeptical of the implications of the meeting, and the legitimacy President Trump may be giving North Korea by engaging an isolationist country with a horrendous human rights record. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed concern, saying “It is worrisome, very worrisome, that this joint statement is so imprecise.”

On the other hand, on CNN last night, an emotional Dennis Rodman, declared through tears that the meeting was “a great day.”

Whereas American news sites inundate those of us living in the States with a seemingly endless downpour of opinions and interpretations, the same could not be farther from the case in North Korea, where the single legal source of news, the state-owned media, neglected to mention anything about the meeting last night, other the fact that the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un was away, and in Singapore.

Whereas the United States finds itself buried under an excess of information, North Korea is trapped by a lack of freedom of the press.