In the wake of significant steps taken by the North Korean government to scale back its nuclear weapons program the U.S. might begin lifting economic sanctions levied against the totalitarian regime. However, FDD.org also known as Foundation for Defense of Democracies has stated that the bar for leniency shouldn’t be any lower than a total dismantling of its nuclear weapons program. See the latest Foundation for Defense of Democracies videos here.
Speaking on U.S. relations with North Korea, John Bolton told the Washington Times “What we need from North Korea is a significant sign of a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons.” What constitutes a significant sign is the area of interpretation that has Foundation for Defense of Democracies experts on North Korea, concerned.
North Korean News immediately reported that Bolton had softened the U.S.’ position on North Korea’s weapons program immediately before the summit. Whether or not the words were merely misinterpreted is hard to say, but one thing is indisputable. The U.S. shouldn’t give North Korea any concessions until real progress is made.
Last June, after the Trump administration negotiated with the Kim-regime in Singapore, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in no unclear terms that North Korea would not receive relief until it dismantled its program. South Korean President, Moon Jae-In agrees that sanctions should remain until denuclearization is certain. Generally the South Korean government is considered far more lenient than the US regarding sanctions, but they recognize the importance of keeping bargaining chips in tact.
While North Korea made a point of celebrating a new era of peace with South Korea in 2018, little action has been taken to ensure an end to the weapons programs. The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s time the U.S. rethought it’s approach to negotiating with North Korea. In the past, U.S. administrations have made concessions for promises by the North Korean leadership. However, by standing firm, the Trump administration has avoided repeating those mistakes. North Korea’s broken promises are it’s proven technique of getting something for nothing, and letting the U.S. make the first move.
In order to see progress finally be made, it’s critical that the U.S. stand strong and continue to exert economic pressure. Soon the US’ persistence could produce results as evidence suggests Kim Jong-Un might be willing to allow early stage meetings to continue, but in order to have a leg to stand on the President must be firm that sanctions will continue until the nuclear program reaches a definitive end. Learn more about the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Linkedin.