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Trump's best option for denuclearizing North Korea

19 0 0
02.06.2018

The head-spinning ups and downs of the “on-off-and-now-maybe” summit between Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is diverting attention from the real choice facing the U.S. president: if he remains inflexibly committed to eliminating Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile program by the end of his first term, he will fail.

Contrary to the sky-high expectations being set, rollback of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs will not happen anytime soon because – after investing so much blood, sweat, and treasure to develop operational nuclear weapons over the past 25 years – the North will not give them up quickly or easily.

Trump’s promises of huge benefits if Kim turns over his nuclear weapons first are exactly the kind of rhetoric the North mocks. I was a member of U.S. government delegations involved in talks with Pyongyang during the Clinton administration and I took part in meetings with North Korean officials as a private citizen from 2005 to 2010. I often heard the North, with unintended humor, deride U.S. demands as asking the North to“pull its pants down” and simply trust Washington.

Still, a Singapore summit can succeed – if Trump sees these talks as the start of a process, not the end. Perhaps recognition of this reality is why negotiations now appear to be heading for a “phased approach” to denuclearization. Trump and Kim may be considering a “much more for much more” deal. This means in exchange........

© Japan Today