North Koreans visit Beijing to learn about China's reforms: Ministry

16 May, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • This image shows a group of North Korean defectors at the center of a controversy over their defection

For instance, Kim's foremost interest is to secure his regime's survival through extracting major concessions from a seemingly united world.

Put it all together and you see a "deal" in which North Korea gives up missiles that can reach the US, gets rid of chemical and biological weapons, and perhaps limits some ability to manufacture new nuclear weapons. But the ideal situation of North Korea giving up their nuclear program totally may be unrealistic, but there is some room to negotiate to have a positive result.

"The results of our investigation show that there was no ship-to-ship transfer of oil (to the North)", a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

"Singapore is located in less than five thousand kilometers from Pyongyang, so the North Korean leader's plane will have a direct flight to the summit".

The White House's remarks follow on from similar positive remarks from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who last week returned from his second trip to Pyongyang.

North Korea has invited global media to witness the destruction of the site, but not technical inspectors, leaving disarmament experts and nuclear scientists wondering how effective the plan is - and whether it will be safe. Pyongyang, he indicated, would have to dismantle its nuclear weapons and allow them to be transported to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. If the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could jointly certify that North Korea is complying, the American people should be increasingly flexible with the Trump administration's "step-by-step" economic engagement with North Korea.

In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month, Kim called for the U.S. and North Korea to build trust through "phased and synchronous measures" that would lead to a political settlement "and eventually achieve denuclearization". What is worth noting is that under this potential situation of "politics of crisis", Trump would not lose much with the "rally-around-the-flag" effect swirling around in American domestic politics, and that this could even help his party in the midterm elections in November. Yet as North Korea successfully launched successive intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) on 4 and 28 July-demonstrating a newly acquired capability to strike the United States mainland-President Moon felt compelled to fully deploy and operationalise the system. "And that's why it's important to test whether, in fact, North Korea has made a strategic decision to give up weapons of mass destruction".

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Rather than settling for "shutting down" the old site, Trump should insist that no new sites be created for North Korean tests.

China, North Korea's main economic lifeline, had been increasing economic sanctions against Pyongyang since late a year ago as Kim continued to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons in defiance of global warnings, worsening bilateral ties. Believing we can "denuclearize" North Korea is probably not realistic in any case. Trump hailed the gesture as "very smart and gracious", and Pompeo said it is "good news" and "one step along the way".

What is notable is that such a deal means at least partially decoupling the US from its regional allies in South Korea and Japan.

Kim has already been successful at shifting the narrative over his nuclear program.

Watch the Secretary of State's comments above. While Singapore's tight control over political activities and media has drawn criticism, it's also what makes the country an ideal location for a high-security event like the Trump-Kim summit.

"The Americans have a real problem here because they have raised expectations about the summit, and they continue to do so", he said.

Of course, maybe Trump will surprise us and has something dramatically different in the works.

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