Trump Just Walked Away from the Best North Korea Deal He’ll Ever Get

March 4, 2019
Jeffrey Lewis

The following is an excerpt published by NPR.

For the North Koreans, the logic of the offer was obvious. The United Nations had tightened existing sanctions in 2016 in response to a series of tests of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. North Korea has now stopped such tests, closed its nuclear test site, partially dismantled a rocket-engine test stand and offered to dismantle some of the facilities at Yongbyon. Surely an adjustment in sanctions was warranted.

Trump and his team disagreed. One State Department official explained that North Korea must not merely end testing but also give up all the weapons developed on the basis of those tests.

“Testing was part of a process of developing nuclear weapons, and the weapons themselves need to be on the table,” the official explained. “It’s not the testing of the weapons; it’s the actual presence of the nuclear weapons — and, by the way, likewise in the case of missile testing, the ICBMs as well that are central to this discussion.”

The U.S. position — that North Korea must unilaterally abandon its nuclear capabilities in exchange for promises of some different future — is a kind of American fantasy about power that is more suited to an action movie than the reality of international negotiations.

Continue reading at NPR.

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