Victor Cha: What Could Happen Next with North Korea

    Victor Cha

    Security, Asia

    U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) arrive to sign a document to acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, June 12, 201

    “For Donald Trump, a partial denuclearization may be all that he needs to claim victory, particularly if he uses such an imperfect deal as a platform for then withdrawing U.S. troops from Korea.” 

    It has been one month since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore and signed a brief four-paragraph document that raised expectations that North Korea might finally be ready to make a strategic decision to abandon its weapons programs and join the international community. Let us recap what has followed this historic meeting. Trump in a wide-ranging press conference directly after the meeting, said that the North Korean leader had agreed to give up his weapons, and that as evidence of his good intentions, the DPRK would repatriate the remains of POW/MIA soldiers from the Korean war and would decommission a missile engine testing facility. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his third trip to Pyongyang last week to iron out some of the details of the Singapore statement and described the meetings as “productive.” He promised that working-level meetings would follow on repatriation of remains and that talks would continue on decommissioning of the missile engine test site.

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