On Geopolitics

Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Rodger Baker
Senior VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
Apr 26, 2018 | 03:00 GMT
In this photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location in this official photo released on Aug. 23, 2017.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of the landmark inter-Korean summit, North Korea has offered to shutter its nuclear test site, suspend intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, and ultimately denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Although it was framed in ambiguous terms, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement serves to set up both the meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In and the subsequent sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump. A year ago, it appeared as if nothing would get North Korea to budge on its nuclear weapons program and its insistence on being recognized as a nuclear state. Now, it is making numerous public "concessions" even before it sits down with South Korean and U.S. leaders. It is little surprise, then, that there is quite a bit of confusion over just what North Korea wants, what it is willing to do, and whether the North Korean leadership can be trusted to stick...

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