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How would the US verify that North Korea is disarming? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-3-10 16:18:26 |Display all floors

Washingon: Nearly 18 years ago, one of North Korea's most senior military officers stepped into the Oval Office and handed then president Bill Clinton a letter from the isolated nation's leader, inviting him to Pyongyang.

"If you come to Pyongyang," Marshal Jo Myong-rok told Clinton as they sat in chairs by the fireplace, "Kim Jong-il will guarantee that he will satisfy all your security concerns."

It was a remarkable moment - a North Korean emissary in full uniform sitting at the White House for the first time since the armistice that suspended the Korean War in 1953.

Clinton was cautious, given the enormous complexity of verifying that North Korea would eliminate weapons to strike the United States. The president thanked his visitor — and sent his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, who concluded that the North Koreans were not ready to offer a full, verifiable dismantlement of their missile program. So Clinton pulled the plug.(He eventually met Kim Jong-il on an unannounced visit to on a mission to free two detained American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, in 2009.)


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Post time 2018-3-10 16:20:59 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Grace222 at 2018-3-10 16:22

If DonaldTrump to meet Kim Jong-un,the son of the dictator who made the offer to Clinton, the challenge of verifying that North Korea is on the way to disarmament will be far, far greater than it was nearly two decades ago. In the years since, the North has tested six nuclear weapons and, according to US intelligence agencies, has 20 to 60 more.

Its missile program is now vast, including intercontinental missiles that may be able to hit the United States and mobile missiles that can be hidden in tunnels around North Korea before being pulled out and launched quickly.


"Diplomacy is a good step, but verification is key," said Wendy Sherman, who was in the Oval Office during that visit October 11, 2000, and travelled with Albright on that ultimately unsatisfying trip.


There would need to be "site inspections everywhere necessary, as we negotiated for Iran," Sherman said, a small dig at Trump, who has complained that the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran left too much room for cheating. "Kim is in the driver seat - he has many nuclear weapons and he knows where all of them are. We don't."


As with much diplomacy in the Trump era, this one is happening without a full playbook.

The usual approach would be to negotiate the details first — defining the scope of any agreement, including fundamental questions like whether it would be limited to the nuclear and missile programs or would include the North's conventional and cyber weapons.


Under standard diplomatic tactics, a presidential summit would be held out for the end of negotiations - as the lure for the North Koreans to complete the deal.


In this case, the summit would come first. It would not be a negotiation, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said from Africa, but a "meeting." It was a sign of how the process has been turned upside down that Tillerson — not for the first time — was out of the loop on the North Korean offer and appears to have heard about the president's decision after it happened.


Tillerson's own advisers have expressed skepticism that this effort will go very far. They recall previous commitments to "denuclearisation" that have been abandoned. That is the big risk behind this meeting — if it fails, two leaders who are acutely attuned to never backing down could find themselves back on the path to confrontation.


But Trump is supremely confident that he can hammer out the broad strokes in a one-on-one encounter, which he suggested during the campaign might take place over a hamburger. And Kim seems convinced that he has the upper hand.





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Post time 2018-3-10 16:21:26 |Display all floors
Grace222 Post time: 2018-3-10 16:20
If DonaldTrump to meet Kim Jong-un,the son of the dictator who made the offer to Clinton, the challe ...

The past year of missile and nuclear tests have put Kim, by the estimates of Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, "within months" of proving he could hit any US city with a nuclear weapon. That gives the North Korean leader a Plan B that his father and his grandfather never enjoyed.

The risks are many.

No inspections have taken place for years. While the CIA and other intelligence agencies have lists of "suspect" sites, the nuclear and missile infrastructure appears to have grown dramatically. The last time International Atomic Energy Agency inspection teams were allowed inside North Korea, nearly a decade ago, they could not travel outside the heavily protected Yongbyon nuclear site.


Without freedom to roam the country, looking for evidence of a second uranium enrichment facility that the CIA believes exists but cannot prove, or for hidden mobile missile launchers, any agreement runs the risk of falling apart - as previous ones have.

"Not only would North Korea have to make a complete declaration of existing stocks - we would also need a mechanism to access suspected sites," said Gary Samore, who also joined the meeting in 2000 with Jo and returned to the White House as President Barack Obama's top nuclear adviser.

That, Samore notes, is "something North Korea has never agreed to."

Kim's opening offer is to suspend missile and nuclear testing while talks are underway. That would keep things from getting worse and is fairly easy to verify if a North Korean missile is launched or an underground test conducted.

But a freeze, as Tillerson noted in Seoul a year ago, would merely enshrine a status quo that Trump has viewed as intolerable. And it is far harder to verify the production of new nuclear material; the design and construction of weapons; continued research and development; and hardening of nuclear sites.


William Perry, the former defence secretary who handled the perilous 1994 crisis with North Korea, raised the critical issue on Thursday night: "How could we possibly verify such an agreement?"

"We don't know how many nuclear weapons they have operational or under construction; we don't know where all their nuclear facilities are; and we have never implemented a treaty that counts warheads, simply because it is so difficult to verify," he noted. "Our nuclear treaties with the Soviet Union and Russia counted missiles, not warheads."

"So it is a fundamental error to think that we could reliably verify a treaty by which North Korea agreed to dismantle all of their nuclear weapons," Perry added, underscoring that the Trump-Kim meeting is a beginning, not a solution.

Jo's initiative went nowhere. He died years ago, his visit to the Oval Office a failure.

This is a second chance, but a perilous one.



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Post time 2018-3-10 16:58:46 |Display all floors
It is odd that the US which had said it would rain fire and fury on DPRK unless it denuclearizes now says it can't be sure how many nukes and installations DPRK has which would constitute closure of its nuclear arsenal.

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Post time 2018-3-10 19:49:27 |Display all floors
I wonder if the US will agree to remove all their military bases from South Korea and Japan
in return for denuclearized North Korea. That's the least they could do.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2018-3-10 22:59:13 |Display all floors
robert237 Post time: 2018-3-10 19:49
I wonder if the US will agree to remove all their military bases from South Korea and Japan
in retur ...

Of course it won't agree, or how can the military get money from the congress and what do you expect so many troops to do or able to do after returning to homeland, killing more local people with their idle arms?

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Post time 2018-3-10 23:34:51 |Display all floors
SoftAngel Post time: 2018-3-10 06:59
Of course it won't agree, or how can the military get money from the congress and what do you expe ...

The US would not acquiesce to such a reasonable request.
This only sheds more light on how rigid and self righteout the US has been
in their dealings with other nations since the US has had nuclear power.
Now that another nation, that the US doesn't agree with, has nuclear power
it puts the US in an ever tightening dilemma.
Neither side will come away with anything worth bragging about.
But it will highlight the obnoxious hubris of the US on the world stage.
The US has much more to lose in these negotiations if only from exposing,
once again, their political arrogance and a failure to acknowledge that
their beloved capitalism is nothing more than warmed over feudalism.
Western imperialism is in peril. This can only be good news for the rest
of the world.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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