When President Donald Trump met Kim Jong Un in June 2018, they came into a vague agreement that North Korea would work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
But, as Vice President Mike Pence stated a week, North Korea has neglected to take concrete measures toward giving up its atomic weapons, and it still represents a serious nuclear threat. Kim is becoming more of exactly what he wants — including serious US concessions, such as suspension of US-South Korean army exercises — but we are getting little in return. And while Trump is ready to meet again, any briefing he gets ahead of the summit would likely lay out some examinations that he wants to hear before he sees
North Korea probably has higher nuclear capabilities now than it did in the Singapore summit. In 2017, the US estimated North Korea had up to 60 atomic warheads, and since that assessment we have seen no sign that the Kim regime has suspended its own production of nuclear weapons or material. In fact, in his New Year’s address before this month, Kim really said that he would not suspend his nuclear program — let alone dismantle it unless the US lifts its sanctions.
In fairness, Trump didn’t get Kim to specifically agree to a freeze when they met in Singapore, and Kim has continued his nuclearization apace. Still, this fact poses a continued threat.
Progress made in discussions in the WH, but with N Korea – maybe not Dems03:27
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said openly that North Korea continues to make fissile material — material used to make nuclear weapons — and there are reports that North Korea is upgrading its nuclear infrastructure and making more complex weapons. Going into a second summit, it’s likely that North Korea has a larger and better nuclear stockpile than it did last June. Even if he can, any denuclearization process will be more difficult since North Korea’s nuclear capabilities continue to grow.
Having an increased nuclear threat from North Korea, US negotiators — when they’re permitted to perform any presidential prep — should highlight that the concessions we need from Kim before we give him exactly what he wants just got larger, in line with the magnitude of his nuclear program.
While Trump is willing to fulfill Kim again, although he’s done practically nothing to deserve it, Kim’s playing another game. He also stonewalled and insulted Pompeo when he didn’t believe we were flexible enough, and in his New Year’s address even immediately jeopardized to”chart a new route if the US does not keep its promises” — probably a reference to concessions we have made to him or ones that he thinks we ought to put on the table.
By visiting China, Kim shows Trump he isn’t the only game in town, says analyst 03:13
Kim’s willingness to attend a summit again means He believes he is getting something for this. We all know that he has concentrated on sanctions relief from earlier times as well as an armistice agreement to end the Korean War and begin US troop withdrawals from the Korean Peninsula.
While he might claim he’s made great faith gestures — including returning US hostages — we need to make clear that absent any steps which in fact have to deal with denuclearization itself, we are not giving him exactly what he needs the most, notably sanctions relief or troop withdrawal. Sanctions are in place due to illegal North Korean activity, including illegal nuclear proliferation. Once that action stops, we can speak sanctions relief.
US troops on the Korean Peninsula and in Japan are similarly where they are because of active threats, such as from North Korea. As threats dissipate, military commanders will review our force posture. Absent any change in the hazard prognosis, that review would be early.
We don’t need to wait until another summit to judge Kim’s goals. Observing the Singapore Summit, we’ve not seen US disarmament specialists substantively participate with their North Korean counterparts. And if they don’t fulfill earlier this moment summit, it is going to be almost a foregone conclusion that people won’t have particular progress to declare on denuclearization. Our experts are a vital component to coming up with specific steps toward denuclearization and getting the North Koreans to agree to them.
But they do not have to reinvent the wheel. The International Atomic Energy Agency has successfully designed and implemented programs for nations like Libya and South Africa. They have more lately been involved in monitoring Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear thing. In short,they’re the pros, if North Korea actually lets them perform their job.
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Ahead of finalizing the details for a second summit, we ought to require bilateral US-North Korea expert level disarmament talks to hammer out particular arrangements we can declare. Another vaguely worded announcement will only kick the nuclear can down the road even further, giving Kim even more hours to build more nukes.
When Trump said that Kim is looking forward to a meeting again, he was probably right. Kim has great reason to believe that a second summit could get him what he desires, while he proceeds to establish himself as a nuclear power on the world platform.