United States Seeks Harsher Conditions to Ensure North Korean Nuclear Dismantlement
In negotiations prior to U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s summit to be held in Singapore on June 12, disagreements have arose over the extent that North Korea should denuclearize, according to a May 10 report by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
North Korea has agreed to dismantling its arsenal of nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
However, concerned about the possibility of North Korea resuming nuclear weapons development in the future, the United States has requested that North Korea relocate its nuclear engineers to other countries, while demanding that the regime discard all data from its nuclear program, sources related to North Korea told Asahi Shimbun.
But North Korea has resisted the idea of relocating its thousands of nuclear engineers, while “taking a vague stance on the abandonment of data on its six nuclear experiments and nuclear-related facilities in Yongbyon,” according to Asahi Shimbun.
The two sides also disagree on the timing for dismantlement. The United States wishes for complete dismantlement to happen within months or up to two years, while the North Korean regime wants to carry out denuclearization step by step over a longer period of time.
North Korea also seeks to be rewarded each time it has completed a step toward denuclearization, while the United States prefers to provide rewards after all steps have been completed.
Previously, the United States has committed to the policy of “complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement,” but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently publicly announced that the United States seeks “permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” (PVID).
South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo analyzed that the latter enables the United States to prevent the North Korean regime from reneging on its promises and restarting nuclear development in the future—perhaps after initially destroying its current arsenal and receiving economic benefits from the international community.
Shin Beomchul, senior fellow at the South Korean think tank, Asan Institute for Policy Studies, told JoongAng Ilbo: “PVID could mean not only destroying nuclear materials and nuclear facilities, but discarding previous research data and personnel.”
New Tang Dynasty Television contributed to this report.