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Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
A few thoughts about the notion of inspectors at Punggye-ri. In other words, a thread. (1/9)
Note: CTBTO stands for Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, the entity responsible for the treaty banning all nuclear explosions (@ctbto_alerts)
According to Trump Administration officials -- i.e. Matt Pottinger who does not exist -- North Korea offered to let U.S. inspectors visit Punggye-ri prior to its demolition in May. The North Koreans reneged, inviting reporters to watch it go boom. (2/9)
If Kim follows through this time, any inspectors are likely to be Americans, not CTBTO personnel. The FY18 NDAA states that "No United States funds may be made available to the" CTBTO. There is an exception for the IMS funding, but not to fund on-site inspections. (3/9)
Seoul could step up and pay, but the important thing here is that Republicans are trying to kill the CTBTO. Trump, Pompeo and Bolton are unlikely to give @SinaZerbo a chance to show how damned useful he can be and how dumb it was to defund him. (4/9)…
But why are we even discussing ad hoc arrangements with the CTBTO? Kim Jong Un could just sign the CTBT tomorrow. Let me repeat that: KIM JONG UN COULD JUST SIGN THE CTBT TOMORROW. (5/9)
I presume the ratification process in the Supreme People's Assembly will be a snap, which is a nice benefit of being able to whip votes with AA guns. 😀 (6/9)
This is hardly an original idea. As @Joshua_Pollack has pointed it out, a one-off visit is beside the point. We need the CTBT in force in the event of a *future* event that requires am onsite inspection. (7/9)…
And Stephen Herzog points out that if North Korea were to return to testing in violation of the CTBT, "it would become increasingly difficult for China to shield the regime from the Security Council’s wrath." (I would say: Kim takes the blame, not Trump.)…
All of this is to say that Kim's offer is a gesture that mimics disarmament, a gesture that imposes few obligations on him. That fact is easy to see when we set Kim's offer against an actual step Kim could take but chooses not to. JUST SIGN (AND RATIFY) THE DAMNED CTBT. (9/9)
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