North Korea Talks Have Entered the Realm of Small Victories
Recent activities at Sohae, which were first reported by the website 38 North, do suggest that Kim may be making good on his offer to Trump in Singapore to scrap the site. Experts believe the satellite-launch station has played a role not just in North Korea’s civilian space program, but also in its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could ultimately carry nuclear weapons to the United States.
The moves, coupled with the news this week that South Korea is experimenting with scaling back its military presence at the border with North Korea and that the North Korean and U.S. governments are haggling over how to return the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War, indicate that nuclear talks with North Korea are still at an early and fragile stage of tentative trust-building—far from the grand visions of peace and disarmament that Kim and Trump conjured in Singapore. As reports of North Korea’s ongoing work on its nuclear program and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s testy meetings in Pyongyang earlier this month have made clear as well, we have now entered a period of stasis, setbacks, and small victories.
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