Though the joint statement from the Trump-Kim summit remains vague, the meeting could be an effective confidence-building measure in steps toward implementing a denuclearization agreement.
Regardless of the prospects of denuclearizing North Korea, the United States and South Korea are likely to continue strengthening capabilities to deter North Korean coercive behavior. Yet, as they do this, it will become increasingly important to assess the regional implications of their actions.
Regardless of how we got here, this week’s summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be a major milestone. Considering a wide range of outcomes, we should all be hoping for progress.
A look at some of the key issues for nuclear negotiations with North Korea.
If the Trump-Kim summit stays canceled, and saber-rattling returns as the dominant mode of communication, the odds of military crisis will rise dramatically.
The chance to end North Korea’s test program should be seized and, if successful, could form the basis for expanding direct contact and trust between Washington and Pyongyang, while expanding the global norm against nuclear testing.
North Korea openly seeks nuclear-armed ICBMs capable of threatening the United States. Its precise military requirements for such a weapon are, however, unknown.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s faulty assumptions and unrealistic expectations could doom prospects for peacefully deescalating one nuclear standoff—and applying these misguided lessons to Iran could manufacture yet another.
Despite the positive nature of the joint statement by the Korean leaders pledging to make progress on long-standing problems, the reality is that there is much hard work to do if the U.S.-North Korean summit is to be a success and lead to real progress.
Unless the United States changes its priorities, Korean diplomacy is probably doomed.