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Five-year denuclearization plan

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By Tong Kim

Since the breakdown of U.S.-DPRK summit talks in Hanoi, there has been enough information to conclude the cause of the summit failure and to pin down where the positions of both sides are today on denuclearization.

The North blamed Trump's advisers for the failure, especially John Bolton, U.S. national security adviser, who said the accusation was "inaccurate". It's not clear who it was ― secretary of state Mike Pompeo or Bolton or both ― that persuaded Trump, or Trump himself decided, to walk away from the talks.

The Trump administration rejects any incremental step-by-step approach espoused by North Korea. Washington favors an immediate complete denuclearization up front, ratcheting up the sanctions, hoping that the pressure will force the North to make more concessions.

It is unknowable how soon the toughening sanctions will render an unbearable tipping point of economic hardship for the North forcing them to give up their self-reliant economic struggle and surrender their weapons of mass destruction. The regime has survived the sanctions so far and will continue to exploit the loopholes of the sanctions.

The premise of denuclearization first before lifting sanctions will never be acceptable to the North. This playbook of quick........

© The Korea Times