United States-North Korea, can the world sleep peacefully?

United States-North Korea, can the world sleep peacefully?

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Can the world sleep well, as Trump said after meeting with Kim Jong-un? After all, Washington and Pyongyang are talking. But nothing is still clear about nuclear disarmament, says Peter Sturm.

    
Karikatur Sergey Elkin |  Treffen Trump-Kim: USA and Nordkorea vereinbaren atomare Abrüstung

For Donald Trump, everything was clarified on the night of June 12 in Singapore, as always happens, thanks to him. The president had little less than begun nuclear disarmament in North Korea. The decades-long effort of his predecessors to achieve this goal suddenly seemed futile. The world and apparently North Korea were just waiting for him to arrive!

It’s been over three weeks since that appointment and evidently nothing has happened yet. Maybe even Trump had not seriously expected it to be like that. After all, it is positive that the talks between Washington and Pyongyang continue. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the North Korean capital on Friday. He and others must now try to get something out of the declaration of the Singapore summit. So far nothing has been resolved. There were even reports last weekend that North Korea, despite disarmament, continues to enrich uranium.

That can be considered cunning. From the point of view of North Korea, it is only consistent. Although Pyongyang achieved a lot in Singapore: Trump suspended the military maneuvers of the United States and South Korea, even classifying them as “provocative”, adopting a common language in Pyongyang (and Beijing) for decades. But such a decision can be reversed.

Create bargaining power

North Korea needs, in the literal sense, the greatest bargaining power possible. You will have to give up part of your nuclear weapons program. It is still unlikely that it can be ready for full nuclear disarmament in the immediate future. In such a situation it makes sense, for example, to have a large quantity of highly enriched uranium available. If necessary, it could be transferred to the Americans or the International Atomic Energy Agency in a grandiloquent gesture, without significantly weakening the weapons program.

These are the difficulties faced by Mike Pompeo in North Korea. Donald Trump will eventually be interested in the subject again. And then it will be demonstrated if the world can really sleep well, as the president commented after the summit.

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