The Road Ahead for Dealing with North Korea

    John Dale Grover

    Security, Asia

    Intercontinental ballistic missiles are seen at a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang

    An event at the Center for the National Interest looks at developments on the Korean Peninsula.

    Today President Donald Trump created shock waves around the world by announcing America’s withdrawal from the proposed summit with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Over the past week, relations between North Korea and the United States steadily cooled. On May 16, North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs First Vice-Minister Kim Kye-gwan warned,“If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear disarmament, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our participation in the DPRK-US Summit.” Following this statement,  North Korean state-run newspapers resumed their barrage of insults aimed at America, proclaiming, “Our hearts burn with the blood of endless revenge toward the murderous U.S. imperialist and class enemy man-eaters who enjoy the slaughter of human beings.”

    Previously, both sides had made statements and gestures that were widely taken as a sign of improving relations ahead of the anticipated summit, originally planned for June 12 in Singapore. Now, diplomats, regional powers, and analysts are all left wondering if the cycle of provocation has resumed and if U.S.-North Korean relations will return to their customary frostiness.

    To assess the state of relations with North and South Korea, the Center for the National Interest convened a panel of experts, including, Dr. Kim Heung-Kyu, a visiting professor at Georgetown University and a member of the South Korean Presidential Security Council, Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation For the Defense of Democracies, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and the former Commander, U.S. Forces South Pacific.The meeting was moderated by Harry J. Kazianis, Director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of the National Interest magazine.

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