North Korea’s Denuclearization. Is It Possible?

By Hyeondo Jeong

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Despite the belief one day North Korea may give up their nuclear program, it isn’t now. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Trump held a summit to sign an agreement in Hanoi, Vietnam from Feb 27th-28th. As the talks between the two countries progress, North Korea will denuclearize.

North Korea wanted the U.S. to lift sanctions against North Korea and U.S. wanted North Korea’s denuclearization. According to Vox.com, “Trump made a big ask of Kim: If he shut down all his weapons programs then the US would remove all relevant sanctions from North Korea.” In fact, “both leaders stopped the talks before a planned lunch and signing ceremony”. The fact that the summit, which was a type of showmanship, was cancelled and they both left early shows that although they might have been at first somewhat interested, they were not entirely committed to signing the agreement.

Although North Korea has said it will give up its nuclear program if the U.S. lifts all sanctions, it seems in stages. Although Moon Jae In and Kim Jung Un on May 12 agreed “that the journey for denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula cannot be halted”, in contrast “North Korea has started rebuilding the facilities it uses to launch satellites and test engines and other technologies for its ICBM program, according to American military analysts and South Korean intelligence officials”. Although Kim Jung Un claimed he will destroy his nuclear program, like a card player who has hid a card in his sleeve, North Korea is reconstructing factories as if still preparing a weapons program. Therefore, North Korea and the US need more time to trust and show everything to each other, and they will have to move slowly for the goals and interests they seek.

Entering into talks with Donald Trump even on social media may indicate a summit is still possible in the future between the US and North Korea. There is a Kaesong liaison office (a place for inter-Korean negotiations and contacts). After the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi disassembled, the atmosphere was changed and they did not sign the agreement. Then, North Korea left the liaison office, took place about six hours after the news of the U.S. State Department’s sanctions against North Korea was announced. Although North Korea withdrew from the liaison office, they returned two days after Trump’s twitter remarks. Analysts say the “North’s return to the liaison office was affected by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet that he ordered the withdrawal of large additional sanctions”. It possibly indicates their willingness to submit to talks with Donald Trump again. North Korea is present in the liaison office again, which is a big step toward the development of relations with the United States. In other words, both sides reaffirmed their willingness to hold dialogue.

Other people can say the Korth Korea and Kim Jung Un lied before but Kim Jung Un has not yet signed the agreement with the US. Although he has not signed an agreement yet, it does not mean he will never sign an agreement. Also, the agreement which is signed with South Korea doesn’t have legal effects; to be exact the North Korea building the factory to make nuclear isn’t illegal behavior yet. In addition, the North wants the U.S. to lift the sanctions. We can see here that North Korea is being harmed by U.S. sanctions. Therefore, North Korea will eventually reluctantly give up its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons program. North Korea wants sanctions lifted and expressed its willingness to talk by answering Trump’s Twitter remark. Of course, it will take time. So, North Korea and the United States will have to slowly engage in dialogue in the hopes that good relations with Korea will continue to be maintained.

 

Works Cited

  1. Brumfiel, Geoff. “Activity At 2nd North Korean Missile Site Indicates Possible Launch Preparations.” NPR, NPR, 8 Mar. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/03/08/701630382/activity-at-2nd-north-korean-missile-site-indicates-possible-launch-preparationsDate accessed: March 25
  2. Choe, Sang-hun. “North Korea Has Started Rebuilding Key Missile-Test Facilities, Analysts Say.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/05/world/asia/north-korea-missile-site.htmlDate accessed: March 25
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  5. @realDonaldTrump. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” Twitter, 22 March. 2019, 10:22 a.m., https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1109143448634966020. Date accessed: March 25
  6. Smith, Ben Riley, and Nicola Smith. “Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-Un at Vietnam Summit and Praises North Korea’s ‘Unlimited’ Potential.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 27 Feb. 2019, 2:43pm , www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/27/donald-trump-meets-kim-jong-un-second-summit-vietnam/Date accessed: 11 April
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