Some good news here. Many positive statements in this joint statement. I hope both the ROK and US national security practitioners can take this as strategic guidance for the alliance and use this in policy, strategy, and campaign plan development. It will be interesting to see when President Trump will travel to Korea.
Seems like we may be seeing the foundation laid for a good cop-bad cop strategy with the ROK taking the lead on engagement (which I fully support if it is supporting a strategy of influencing the Korean people living in the north and the 2d tier leadership and the elite to change the Kim Family Regime - and you are free to interpret change any way you like as long we are are influencing and supporting internal change).
The key statements I was looking for made it into the statement are on unification (with recognition of a ROK lead) and the human rights of the "Korean people living in the north" - I would have preferred use of that phrase recognizing one Korea people rather than "the DPRK's people" but I will take this as an excellent start.
President Trump supported the ROK’s leading role in fostering an environment for peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.The two leaders expressed deep concern about the well-being of the DPRK’s people, particularly in light of the egregious human rights violations and abuses committed against them by the government, and noted their intention to ensure sanctions have minimal impact on the DPRK’s vulnerable populations. President Trump expressed support for President Moon’s aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on issues, including humanitarian affairs. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of cooperating with the international community to hold the DPRK accountable for substantial progress on the deplorable human rights situation in that country....The two leaders shared the view that strong and dynamic ties between our two countries are the foundation of the United States-ROK Alliance.They decided to advance future-oriented cooperation through high-level consultations in the areas of economy and trade, renewable and nuclear energy, science and technology, space, environment, health, and defense technology. President Trump and President Moon affirmed that the United States and the ROK will work together to support and uphold the rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific region. The two leaders affirmed that the strength of the United States-ROK Alliance serves as testament to the power of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and acknowledged that the future of the two countries is linked through people-to-people ties, with more than 1.7 million Korean Americans in the United States, hundreds of thousands of Americans visiting and working in the ROK each year, and close ties created through cultural programs and student and professional exchanges. President Trump and President Moon heralded the exemplary nature of the United States-ROK Alliance, from strengthening our security by deterring and defending against the DPRK threat, enhancing strong regional relations, and advancing our economic relationship and expanding our global partnership. Both leaders expressed their expectation that the friendship and partnership between the two countries will continue to strengthen and grow for many decades to come.