South Korea’s president says North Korea is ready to scrap its nuclear weapons program with virtually no conditions, but a leading expert on North Korea says President Trump must keep the heat on Kim Jong Un and China to get a deal worth signing.
Gordon Chang, author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World,” also says the South Korean president might be a bigger stumbling block to an acceptable deal than Kim is.
Optimism is on the upswing for the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim after South Korean President Moon Jae-in publicly indicated that North Korea is prepared to give up its nuclear program.
“I don’t think denuclearization has different meanings for South and North Korea. The North is expressing a will for a complete denuclearization,” Moon said Thursday, according to Reuters.
“They have not attached any conditions that the U.S. cannot accept, such as the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. All they are talking about is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security,” added Moon.
Kim has said very little publicly, but Chang still sees an opportunity for something significant to happen in the Trump-Kim talks.
“We should be cautiously optimistic that President Trump, if he wants to exert American power, can perhaps bring a very good outcome to the Korean Peninsula,” said Chang.
“This provides the opportunity for a breakthrough. I’m sure Kim Jong Un doesn’t want to give up his most destructive weapons and won’t do it unless there’s severe pressure, but President Trump is in a position to apply that pressure,” said Chang.
According to Chang, Kim is rattled by Trump’s policies and personnel choices, and that may mean he’s ready to make major concessions.
“He doesn’t want the U.S. to strike his nuclear or his missile facilities. You now have John Bolton Click to see the original article