North Korea thoughts:
1) We should all hope Trump can get a deal that reduces risk of conflict and caps/starts to roll back North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
2) We should all be skeptical about North Korea's willingness to do so, and Trump's ability to get a good deal.
Let me explain. I worked at Yongbyon in 1995-96 to implement the Agreed Framework. North Korea appeared truly committed to give up is nuclear production capabilities at the time, but we were never able to determine for sure they would give up all of the nukes.
DPRK violated AF and in 2002 the deal was killed and North Korea rapidly expanded their nuclear program. In 2005 we tried again, and made some progress, but North Korea and US never tested whether DPRK would actually give up all nuclear weapons.
Since then, North Korea has expanded its capabilities. Maybe they can now negotiate from a position of confidence and are actually willing to trade nukes for engagement, economic development, recognition but caution is advised given our history with them.
Now of course, we have to look at Donald Trump - he desperately wants to make progress on North Korea - because others have failed and because it would be good for his legacy. However, he has not done the hard work needed to succeed.
He has a National Security Advisor seeking to undermine any progress, and has not empowered his team to make the detailed progress needed to produce a sustainable, verifiable deal. The best we can hope for now is a public commitment from KJU to cap parts or all of his program.
If Trump can get that and establish a process where actually negotiators can negotiate something tangible, then the US should be willing to take its own steps to show it can compromise with DPRK. But without such a public commitment, it is not clear the US should do very much.
Offers to negotiate an end to the Korean war, establish liaison offices, consider listing of some sanctions are fine IF we get something tangible from DPRK on the nuclear and missile front. But then we are back to Trump.
He is desperate to make progress, but has been willing to sell the image of progress even with there is no substance. We have seen this on trade, on military issues, on the economy and in the 1st nuclear summit with Kim.
So while we hope he makes progress, everyone should be skeptical that trump actually pulls this off. Kim knows what he wants. Trump only wants to see the concept of progress. The proof will be in the results. I hope to be positively surprised, but expect not to be.
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