Last year Kim Jong Un wagered that he could transform North Korea’s relations with the United States, South Korea and other powers. Despite months of flashy diplomacy, North Korea’s future remains hazy. The world wants to know how the long Cold War ends, but a second Trump-Kim summit will not yield closure. Retreating from his exuberance after the Singapore summit, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that denuclearization had only a “decent chance.”
While the U.S. and North Korea may appear to be set for a protracted stalemate, by the end of next year ties will head in one of two directions: Either sufficient progress is made to justify continuing rapprochement, or frustrations over the lack of substantive progress will terminate the diplomatic opening with the Kim regime.
The U.S. should not give up on diplomacy just yet. The alternatives are ugly, and there is a reason to believe that 35-year-old Kim wants to develop and modernize his country.
Read the full article in The Japan Times.
More from CNAS
CommentaryBreakthrough or Crisis? How Will Coronavirus Impact Tensions with North Korea?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated geopolitical tensions first in Northeast Asia, with the original outbreak in China, and now around the world as the United State...
By Duyeon Kim
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson
The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....
By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt