12 June 2018
INTERVIEW WITH SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joins us now live from Canberra. Minister good morning to you.
JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Sam.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Now the world is watching, we are all very hopeful. What in your mind would constitute a successful summit?
JULIE BISHOP: Both leaders will be looking to secure a deal that represents progress towards their particular aims. In the case of the United States, that is complete and verifiable dismantling of North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. For North Korea, that will mean some form of economic and security guarantees, and both leaders will be wanting to achieve an agreement that represents progress towards an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula between North and South. It is too early to speculate as to what we might see from this summit, but I think that both leaders will want to see a deal that represents progress towards their goals.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: As you say, previous US Presidents have tried and failed with North Korea. These are both very erratic men, do you that that might mean Trump may succeed where his predecessors have failed?
JULIE BISHOP: We certainly wish the summit every success. We want to see progress towards an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula. We want to see North Korea become a law-abiding nation. President Trump has an unorthodox diplomatic style. Kim Jong-un is most certainly an unorthodox leader, but between them, they do hold the peace and stability of our region in their hands, and so, we want to see a successful summit that sets out a path as to how there can be complete and verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea’s weapons and nuclear weapons program, and we also want to see from North Korea what they are prepared to see in order to achieve that. So the key to it will be what do both leaders mean by denuclearisation? In the case of the United States that is complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of the program. What does North Korea means by denuclearisation? And any agreement will only be as good as the verification program that is put in place. That is, the inspectors who will be allowed into North Korea to ensure that they have dismantled their program. It is a unique summit. I don’t believe a sitting US President has ever met with the leader of North Korea before, so in that sense, it is an historic occasion.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Yes and Trump no doubt fired up off the back of the G7 Summit, make of that what you will. Minister, I can’t believe I am putting your name and Dennis Rodman’s in the same sentence. It’s a little bit of a sideline circus. I mean, is the appearance of Dennis Rodman in Singapore, do we take that with a bit of a grain of salt?
JULIE BISHOP: I have no understanding of what his role could possibly be. But I note that my very good friend Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singaporean Foreign Minister has taken Kim Jong-un on a sightseeing tour of Singapore, and I was in contact with Vivian last night, and he confirmed that both leaders are very upbeat and positive about a potential breakthrough at this meeting. So, let’s hope that this summit is a success and that we do see real concrete, genuine steps towards peace on the Korean Peninsula.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Let’s hope so. And these friendships are being based around selfies, which we love. Promise me if you ever meet Kim Jong-un you’ll take a selfie.
JULIE BISHOP: You will be the first to receive it Sam.
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Julie Bishop, great to chat.
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