Is It Likely that the North Koreans Will Ultimately Give Up their Nuclear Weapons and ICBMs?
The North Koreans have a bad track record when it comes to keeping their promises. Recall President Clinton’s aid-for-promises deal with North Koreans, the 1994 Agreed Framework. Terms of this Executive Agreement made by Clinton and Kim Jong Il (Kim Jong-un’s father) called for:
- North Korea’s plutonium reactor would be closed down and no longer able to make fuel for nuclear weapons
- An international consortium would give North Korea two light-water reactors
- The United States would give the North Koreans 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil every year
The sum total value of the deal was roughly $3 Billion to $4 Billion for the North Koreans promising to give up its nuclear weapons program.
Ultimately, the Agreed Framework fell apart for a variety of reasons including the fact that the North Koreans appeared to be cheating on the deal.
Circumstances have Changed for the North Koreans
Instead of Clinton’s aid-for-promises policy and Obama’s strategic patience policy, Trump has put in place a policy of maximum pressure.
President Trump has developed a comprehensive set of increasingly tough economic sanctions against North Korea. He has also enlisted the help of China through tough economic negotiations. Plus, Trump sent three aircraft carrier strike groups and a Trident nuclear submarine off the coast of North Korea to protect America in response to Kim Jong-un’s belligerent rhetoric against the United States.
President Trump has set in place a new negotiations approach for his summit with North Korea. It might be called a denuclearization-for-aid policy. The exact opposite of his predecessors’ strategic approach.
What’s Likely to Happen?
I think Kim Jong-un seeks his own personal safety and security first and foremost. Trump is promising him those things as well as economic aid and ultimately prosperity in return for verifiable and permanent denuclearization. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for North Korea.
I think Kim Jong-un will move forward and negotiate in good faith the complex details of complete and verifiable denuclearization.
After this happens, expect President Trump to get that Nobel Peace Prize that has been mentioned in the last few months.
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