Hawks Renew Their Attacks On North Korea Talks

Moon of Alabama
Aug. 01, 2018

There are new attempts underway to sabotage the deal U.S. President Trump made with North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong-Un. These attacks are based on misleading interpretations of the agreements that were made between the two leaders.

Duyeon Kim, a fellow of the Center for a New American Security based in Seoul, suggests in Foreign Policy to ignore the agreed upon sequencing of a. the establishment new US-DPRK relations, b. a peace agreements and c. denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Duyeon Kim argues:
[T]he issue is the order of agreed points, which has caused confusion and misinterpretation. For the first time in the history of negotiations, Washington essentially accepted, whether blindly or wittingly, Pyongyang's wish list on sequencing: 1) normalization of bilateral relations, 2) establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and then 3) "complete denuclearization." ...
This is not "Pyongyang's wish list". North Korea's "wish list" did not include denuclearization talks. The listed content of those steps and their sequencing was negotiated and agreed upon by all parties. The leaders of North Korea, South Korea and the United States signed on to them. For some undisclosed reason Duyeon Kim wants to change that:
In theory, the peace process and denuclearization process could proceed simultaneously. The practical reality, however, is potentially falling into Pyongyang's trap. Making peace too soon could produce an economically vibrant North Korean state armed with nuclear weapons and normal relations with the United States. Serious progress on nuclear dismantlement should be achieved before formal discussions commence on a peace treaty. It will take skill and tact from Pompeo's negotiating team to navigate the pitfalls and landmines along this twisting route.
No" skill and tact" will allow Pompeo to change the sequence that was agreed upon. It would breaks both agreements, the April Panmunjom Declaration between South and North Korea, and the June Singapore Statement signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.

Duyeon Kim knows this well but openly argues to follow such a path. Why?

What is so bad with an economically vibrant North Korean state that has normal relations with the United States? Such a state, one hopes, would over time feel secure enough to get rid of its expensive nuclear determent. A threatened and insecure North Korea will certainly never do such. So what is the alternative to the agreed upon process? Duyeon Kim does not provide one.

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