The Singapore Mint released three medallions to mark the historic meeting between President Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. You can now purchase these medallions from ModernCoinMart to commemorate this major world event. Read more about the momentous event and the thoughtful design behind the medals.
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the primary focuses of Donald Trump’s campaign was his ability to make deals. Many of his voters supported him primarily because of their confidence in his ability to handle relationships with foreign leaders and agreements with foreign countries better than other presidents had. Perhaps no such challenge was bigger than handling America’s relationship with North Korea, with which relations have been hostile since the 1950-1953 Korean War. This week, President Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore in the most promising sign of an improvement in relations between the two countries. The Singapore Mint marked the occasion with the release of three new medals.
The Korean War involved most of the world, including the United States and United Nations on the side of South Korea and China and the Soviet Union fighting with the North. About 200,000 people fighting for or with the South were killed or went missing. Over 183,000 Chinese, 299 Soviets, and at least 215,000 North Korean troops were killed with another 120,000 listed as POWs or MIA. Unlike most other conflicts, which usually end in a decisive victory and what is designed to be a lasting peace, the conflict ended with an armistice. An armistice does not end a war but does provide for a cease fire while the two sides pursue peace. The situation between the United States and South Korea and North Korea has remained in that delicate state for decades.
During this time, there have been several incidents that could have reignited the conflict. Perhaps the most threatening was Kim Il-sung’s trip to China in 1975 just after the North Vietnamese army captured the capital of South Vietnam. Kim sought Chinese support for a new invasion of the South, but the Chinese leadership refused.
In recent years, several new actions by the North have again threatened the peace. One of North Korea’s submarines sank ROKS Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. They also killed two civilians by shelling the island of Yeonpyeong that same year. Saber rattling again worsened in 2013 in response to UN sanctions, with the North declaring, “The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over.”
In 2016, North Korea made overtures to the United States to discuss a formal end to the war. President Obama agreed to secret talks, but because North would not discuss disarmament, the opportunity dissolved. For much of the following year, the first year of President Trump’s administration, the situation looked dire as Trump traded barbs with Kim Jong-un. The two leaders had a public feud in language that appeared as though both were ready for war.
This year, the situation changed dramatically. Pyeongchang, South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics, and just weeks before the Games, there were questions about whether the United States and other countries would participate due to the security situation. In the closing weeks, though, North and South Korea made overtures to each other. Not only did all nations end up participating in the Games, but Kim Jong-un’s sister attended the Opening Ceremonies and North and South Koreans participated together on a women’s ice hockey team.
The warming relationship extended beyond the two Koreas as talk of a meeting between President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un began increasing. After some tense moments, logistical challenges, and even a scheduling and subsequent cancellation of a meeting, the two leaders finally met on June 12.
The two leaders met privately with only their translators present before bringing in their advisors. The two came to an agreement that involved security assurances and a commitment to end joint nuclear exercises with South Korea from President Trump and a commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula from Kim Jong-un. To many, the agreement not only signals hope for peace but also the possibility that the reclusive state could develop into a member of the global community rather than the hermit kingdom that it has been for more than half a century.
The Singapore Mint released three medallions to mark the occasion. The most expensive of the bunch is a half-ounce 99.99% gold piece, which is followed by a one-ounce 99.9% silver medal and a nickel-zinc proof-like issue. All three share the same designs and are available for purchase now from ModernCoinMart.
On the obverse is a handshake between the American President and the North Korean Supreme Leader. Only the hands of the men are shown. In the background are the colorized flags of the two nations, with the North Korean flag on the left and the American flag on the right. According to the mint, this is a reference to where the countries are on the political spectrum. The date, “12.06.2018” and the words, “SUMMIT IN SINGAPORE,” are inscribed above the flags, while the names of the two countries, “DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are inscribed along the rim, again on the left and right, respectively.
The reverse of the medal features a large letter inscription of the global aspiration toward which their nations hope the two men are striding, “WORLD PEACE.” Below those words, a dove carries an olive branch in its beak. On the lower right is a colorized arrangement of the national flowers of the two countries, red roses for the United States and white magnolias for North Korea. “THE SINGAPORE MINT” is inscribed at the bottom, while the two precious metals pieces have the weight and purity included to the right.
It may be years before the world has a more complete perspective on the significance of the Singapore Summit. Whether it is the beginning of the easing of tensions and the start of a long-term improvement of relations between two of the world's most prominent adversaries or just an anomaly in an otherwise strained relationship remains to be seen. What the world does know, though, is that the meeting is historic, and the Singapore Mint's release of the medals provides collectors with an interest in news and history an opportunity to share that historic moment in a small way. Take part in the event by adding one or more of the medallions to your own collection. You can now purchase them from ModernCoinMart to commemorate this major world event.
||Sean McConeghy is a freelance writer and network marketer living in Roatan, Honduras. He originally hails from New York and specializes in writing about numismatics, real estate, and politics.|