Making A Golden Deal with Trump

https://i1.wp.com/kanivatonga.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Trump-and-Kim.jpgDumping North Korea nuclear weapons: What does Kim Jong Un want from Trump?

Oren Dorell

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has committed to a nuclear free Korean Peninsula ahead of his planned summit with President Trump, according to Chinese media. But what will he want in return for his prized possessions?

Past agreements and statements by the North’s government show that Kim wants normalized relations with the United States, something no American president has had the stomach to deliver to one of the most brutal regimes in the world.

“An end to US enmity remains Kim Jong Un’s aim just as it was his grandfather’s and father’s for the past thirty years,” says Leon Sigal, author of Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea.

Kim may be willing to denuclearize and even take steps to disarm if Trump commits to end hostile relations with the North — and takes action to show he means it, Sigal wrote Monday in 38 North, a publication of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

The problem for U.S. leaders has always been that the highly militarized and totalitarian North Korean government is so brutal to its own people and aggressive toward its neighbors that exchanging ambassadors and conducting normal trade would be politically unappetizing.

Trump, however, signaled Tuesday that this time might be different.

“For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility,” Trump said on Twitter. “Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting!”

For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility. Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Received message last night from XI JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
U.S. statements and failed agreements under past presidents show what the Kim family has always wanted.

The Clinton years

During the Cold War, Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, sought to reduce over-dependence on China by working with the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union was about to collapse, he reached out to the U.S., Japan and South Korea for the same reason.

That led to the 1994 Agreed Framework, which required North Korea to freeze work on nuclear reactors suspected of being part of a covert nuclear weapons program in exchange for two nuclear power reactors that would be hard to use for weapons’ work.

The agreement, negotiated under then-President Bill Clinton, also required the U.S. and North Korea “to move toward normalizing economic and political relations, including by reducing barriers to investment, opening liaison offices, and ultimately exchanging ambassadors,” according to the Arms Control Association.

That level of agreement never happened. And U.S. intelligence agencies later concluded that the North had launched a new nuclear weapons project in secret.

George W. Bush

Under President George W. Bush, White House officials said they had no hostile intent toward North Korea. But after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush named North Korea in his “Axis of Evil.” Then the White House issued a report that discussed pre-emptive attacks on countries like North Korea that were developing weapons of mass destruction.

Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, restarted his dormant nuclear reactors. And the Bush administration returned to negotiations with the North.

That led to the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks, in which North Korea committed to “the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” and “to abandoning all nuclear weapons.”

Again, the North and the U.S. said they would “respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together, and take steps to normalize their relations subject to their respective bilateral policies.”

Two more rounds of talks took place, with no substantial results.

Barack Obama and Trump

In April 2009, North Korea tested a long-range missile and later announced it would no longer negotiate or abide by previous agreements. In all its statements since, it asserted its right to develop nuclear weapons to deter the U.S. threat.

North Korea quickly ramped up its nuclear weapons program when President Barack Obama was in office, and during the first year of Trump’s presidency.

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