US-North Korea Diplomacy Is Over for Now. What Comes Next?

December 9, 2019
Joshua H. Pollack

The following is an excerpt from the NK News.

With the advantage of hindsight, the abrupt conclusion of the Hanoi summit in February 2019 was the beginning of the end for US-North Korean diplomacy in the Trump era. In its immediate aftermath, according to a senior North Korean diplomat, Kim Jong Un “may have lost the will” to continue talking with the United States.

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump shake hands in front of their flags

North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Trump, Source: WikiMedia Commons

In April, Kim complained that the United States had not taken a serious approach to negotiations in Hanoi. In a major policy speech, he warned, “As wind is bound to bring waves, the U.S. open hostile policy toward the DPRK will naturally bring our corresponding acts… we will wait for a bold decision from the U.S. with patience till the end of this year but I think it will definitely be difficult to get such a good opportunity as the previous summit.”

An element of pessimism had crept into Kim’s public remarks even before his trip to Vietnam. In his 2019 New Year Address, he remarked, “if the United States does not keep the promise it made… we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.”

Analysts speculated about the nature of Kim’s “new way,” and what might happen in the new year. In the meantime, the sides reverted to their old patterns.


Preparations for new long-range flight tests may already be underway. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported in early December that the North Koreans have already begun paving large concrete pads suitable for stabilizing large mobile missile launchers.

Unable to secure victories at the bargaining table, Kim has turned back to his weapons scientists in search of additional leverage.

Continue reading at NK News.


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