North Korea deal with Trump in the works

PRAYER ALERT on North Korea deal. Donald Trump has accepted the request of dictator Kim Jong Un for the first face-to-face meeting between a US President and North Korean head of state. Trump has long insisted that any talks aim at the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Kim now says he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons. In fact Trump said Kim has promised not to conduct any nuclear tests through the time of their upcoming meetings. These are extraordinary concessions. Kim has recently threatened to wage nuclear war against the United States. And it is quickly developing a tried and tested delivery system with the power to do so.

What caused Kim to consider denuclearization? Some say the harsh US-supported sanctions against North Korea which have further crippled its destitute and isolated economy. Some say that China’s cooperation with these sanctions has deprived North Korea of its sole powerful ally. Others say that South Korea’s welcome of North Korea in the Seoul Olympics made reunification of the two a distinct possibility. Still others say that Trump’s unprecedented counter-threats to destroy North Korea finally caused Kim to back down.

But has Kim really backed down? North Korea has in the past broken many promises to denuclearize. In 1985 it signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. In 1992 it agreed to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. It agreed in 1994 to stop its nuclear program in exchange for two nuclear reactors and $5 billion of free fuel. Then in 2002 it threw out its international inspectors. All that time it had kept on pursuing its nuclear program covertly. The next year North Korea openly renounced the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2007 North Korea agreed to close its nuclear facilities in exchange for fuel. Again in 2012 it agreed to close them in exchange for massive aid in food. Each time it quickly reopened them. Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton says there is only one way to verify North Korea’s denuclearization. North Korea must allow US ships and planes to carry all its nuclear materials away. Libya did so when it denuclearized in 2004. Will Kim do so now? And what will it take to make him keep his promises?

All eyes are on Trump. Will the consummate deal-maker pull off the biggest deal of the century?

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