“The fundamental definition of denuclearization is quite different between Washington and Pyongyang”, Revere said, noting that as recently as January 1, Kim had vigorously reaffirmed the importance of nukes for North Korea’s security. He has since, somehow, made inroads into Kim’s regime while saying he doesn’t represent USA interests.
A Trump-Kim summit would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of missile tests that Washington sees as provocative and after a barrage of insults between the two leaders.
Still, Trump’s announcement this week about the proposed meeting shows that sometimes it may be better to expect the unexpected.
Sanders was asked why Trump did not attach preconditions, such as the release of three Americans detained in the North. In the past, they sometimes achieved this by bringing in Americans (such as Bill Clinton after he left office) as a condition for freeing USA citizens whom they had detained.
Jimmy Carter made history as the first former US president to visit North Korea in June 1994. “We’ll certainly make those announcements when more decisions and more information is available on that front”. North Korea had also said talks would be about denuclearization, but it is not clear that Pyongyang agreed to do anything toward that end before a meeting that South Korea said would take place “by May”. Send H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, or Mike Pompeo, the Central Intelligence Agency director.
President Trump, as he contemplates the possibility of this summit, is running the risk of falling into the trap that President Clinton avoided in 2000. He’s going, which is something the North Koreans enormously want.
“Optically it looks really bad if Trump goes to Pyongyang”, Town said, but “Trump does a lot of things we don’t expect”.
We have heard this from high levels of the North Korean regime, including the man who is now North Korea’s foreign minister.
Officials said that the administration would maintain its campaign of maximum economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea, even amid talks. For Trump, this announcement also has the benefit of changing the topic of the headlines away from a porn actress and a Russian Federation investigation. We need to verify, every step of the way, and I’m sure any deal will include strong verification provisions.
Instead, Kim only promised to stop nuclear and ballistic missile testing and said he accepted the right of the USA and South Korea to move forward with joint military exercises later this year. The last is the most important: If he will suspend testing, then there may be a deal to be done. We know that a “freeze” on the testing of North Korean nuclear weapons would leave the nuclear threat to our allies, our overseas bases, and the USA homeland in place.
“North Korea made a choice to have a nuclear program to secure its system [of governance] but the system is in a vicious circle, with the weapons program repeatedly bringing it to a critical situation”, he said. “It’s just the way North Korea works internally”.
Pyongyang has previously stated it would not be willing to make its weapons development program part of any negotiations with the USA, and had conducted more than a dozen missile tests in the past year, provoking a war of words between Trump and Kim. A personal meeting would have been all but unthinkable when Trump was being dismissed as a “senile dotard” and the Korean “rocket man” was snapping off weapons tests in his quest for a nuclear arsenal that could threaten the US mainland. “I don’t think we can rule it out”.
Or Trump, whom the American people have twice now witnessed being incoherent in domestic negotiations on immigration and gun control, could wrest some purported concession that melts away as the slippery and paranoid Kim, who sees nuclear weapons as vital to his preservation in power, reverts to business as usual.
Kim, who had used his annual New Year’s address to warn the United States of a supposed nuclear button on his desk, has an economy that’s been battered by heavy worldwide sanctions. North and South Korea exchanged envoys as Pyongyang sent a delegation to the South’s Winter Olympics, which Seoul had dubbed the “Peace Games”.
First, he put on a Western-style suit to call for reconciliation with South Korea in his 2018 New Year’s address.
So give Trump’s approach some credit.