Friday, March 30, 2018

What Does ‘Denuclearization’ Mean To North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 6, 2018. (The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via REUTERS )

Uri Friedman, Defense One/The Atlantic: What Does ‘Denuclearization’ Mean to Kim Jong Un?

A close reading of what the Korean leader reportedly told Xi Jinping in Beijing.

One of the oddest things about the current flurry of diplomacy with North Korea is that it has played out like a game of telephone: South Korean officials dined with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang and then flew to Washington, D.C., bearing a message that Kim was willing to discuss “denuclearization,” which inspired Donald Trump to agree to an unprecedented summit this spring with the North Korean leader, which motivated the North Korean leader to hop on a train to Beijing this week, which prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to update Trump on how the visit went, which led the American president to tweet this morning that he’d heard the meeting “went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me.”

Through it all, North Korea itself has remained conspicuously silent, at least in public. Hopes for a resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis have thus largely been pinned on a stream of whispers. As of this writing, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency features news of Kim’s trip to China and dialogue with South Korea, of the issuing of tea-themed postage stamps, and the invention of a fancy new “automatic meteorological observation device,” but no mention of any North Korean commitments to denuclearization.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: We have been down this path before .... This isn't the first time Pyongyang has flirted with denuclearization (CNN). More here .... Kim family has made denuclearization vows in China before (Matthew Pennington, Military Times/AP).

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