PoliZette

Here Are the Experts’ Must-Do’s for Denuclearizing Korea

Capitol Hill panel is told continued insistence on concrete verification procedures are key to reaching a credible Singapore deal

North Korean experts told a congressional panel Tuesday what President Donald Trump should do as he prepares to meet with Kim Jong-un at a potential historic June 12 summit in Singapore.

Trump’s aggressive approach using hot rhetoric and tough sanctions has prompted North Korean leader Kim to agree to meet with him. The summit could mark the beginning of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy hearing focused on what should happen next as the two leaders prepare to meet. Numerous unknowns remain, as evidenced by the summit’s near-cancellation and North Korea’s history of ignoring previous deals.

“If the events leading up to June 12 are any indication, only the president will determine what deal can be made and whether no deal should be made with Kim Jong-un,” Dr. Victor Cha, a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said during the hearing. “But a summit is not a strategy, and a summit without a strategy is dangerous.”

Cha stressed the importance of having a clear focus on U.S. objectives and being able to verify their accomplishment. Trump’s denuclearization goal can be achieved, but how remains unclear. The summit could prompt future talks and expose creative solutions.

Former top American diplomat Joseph Yun notes that Trump has since backed off from his initial “maximum pressure” campaign as tensions eased, but tough trade sanctions and other restrictions remain available to help pressure Kim to denuclearize.

“Complete denuclearization … means dismantlement and removal of all fissile materials and production capacity.”

“True that while it is a good development that the administration is more realistic, we should not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapon state,” Yun, who now works as a senior adviser for The Asia Group, said during the hearing. “Complete denuclearization … means dismantlement and removal of all fissile materials and production capacity.”

Yun told LifeZette that allowing nuclear inspectors to examine sites can measure Kim’s commitment to an improved relationship with the world. Concrete verification procedures can help ensure a new deal doesn’t fail as did previous agreements, he added.

Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage image: Kim Jong-un Visiting Berlin, CC BY-SA 2.0, by driver Photographer / North Korea Victory Day, CC BY 2.0, by Stefan Krasowski; photo credit, article image: North Korea Victory DayCC BY 2.0, by Stefan Krasowski)