As Today’s WorldView noted last week, talks between the United States and North Korea have hit a rut. Now a new report from a respected Washington think tank that identified hidden North Korean missile bases has sparked fresh debate about Pyongyang’s trustworthiness.
These bases — and the activity at them — seem to show that North Korea continues to prepare for a potential nuclear war despite the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June. There have also been reports that North Korea is still producing missiles and nuclear material. All of this, along with Pyongyang’s reputation for cheating in prior agreements, has created a minor panic over whether Kim deliberately deceived the United States about his willingness to dismantle his nuclear program.
Given the high stakes of the negotiations, it’s worth examining the allegations of North Korean deception: What has Kim actually said he would do with his nuclear weapons program? And why are claims of North Korean deception so worrying?
On the first question, the answer is a lot.
Kim kicked off 2018 with a New Year’s Day speech, one that offered the first hint that Kim was open to negotiations after a year of weapons testing and increasingly hostile rhetoric from both Pyongyang and Washington. But there was another part of the speech that seems just as important in hindsight. Kim hailed the supposed completion of its nuclear weapons development and said it was time for a new goal.
Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.