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(((James Acton))) @james_acton32
, 14 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
<Thread>Diplomacy with North Korea has reduced the risk of war. But the summit—and particularly its immediate aftermath—was a farce, and the respite is only likely to be temporary. (1/14)
As I’ve said before, I became genuinely scared, last summer and fall, about the possibility of a U.S.-DPRK war, which would have real potential to turn nuclear. I support diplomacy because I don’t want to die. No exaggeration. (2/14)
Given the lack of time to prepare and the President’s obvious desperation for a summit, the language in the U.S.-DPRK joint statement was predictably weak and vague. (3/14)
Generally, the language is in line with past agreements (thanks to @Joshua_Pollack for collecting them). But so much for not repeating “past mistakes”... (4/14)…
In fact, the denuclearization language in the joint statement is particularly weak, as I noted earlier. So much for an unambiguous commitment to complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement. (5/14)
If you think this agreement is a useful first step, I suggest you compare it to the 2005 Joint Statement with North Korea, let alone the 2013 JPOA with Iran (yes, I do mean JPOA not JCPOA). (6/14)…
But, in many ways, the real action happened after the summit... (7/14)
Trump made the surprising concession of stopping joint U.S.-ROK exercises.

Was this a quid-pro-quo? For a continued testing moratorium, perhaps? Was this announcement planned? Was it a spur of the moment unilateral concession?

¯\_(ツ)_/ (8/14)
Moreover, Trump seems to think that North Korea has agreed to complete unilateral disarmament. It hasn’t. (9/14)
Worse still, he seems to think that North Korea is going to start denuclearizing right away. It won’t. (10/14)
There are real risks to Trump’s expectations being dashed. Once diplomacy has been tried and it has “failed,” then the administration may start arguing that war is the only answer. (11/14)…
Don’t forget, before he became National Security Advisor, Bolton supported a summit because it would “foreshorten the amount of time that we’re gonna waste in negotiations.” (12/14)…
Rather than risk everything in pushing for rapid denuclearization (not gonna happen), we should focus on modest steps to reduce risks in return for modest concessions—an approach I term less for less. (13/14)…
Bottom line: Diplomacy will rumble on for the time being, but I am not optimistic about the longer term.

And now, not unrelatedly, some free advertising for @armscontrolwonk (14/14)
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