October 03, 2018

Andrew Yeo, associate professor, politics, published commentary on North Korean engagement with National Interest.

Will anything persuade the skeptics that now may be the best chance in a decade to advance confidence-building measures, stability, and peace on the Korean Peninsula? What explains the persistent skepticism in Washington despite different signals from Pyongyang? We offer three reasons.

However, the only way to find out how serious North Korea is about denuclearization or to enable a peace process on the Korean Peninsula is for the United States to actually talk to North Korea and provide actions that demonstrate greater credible commitment. President Moon Jae-in has teed the ball for Washington. The White House is taking a swing at resuming negotiations with North Korea. The real test, however, is whether the United States makes some “corresponding measures,” which both President Moon and Chairman Kim Jong-un hope to see from President Donald Trump. Whether this comes in the form of a declaration to end the Korean War, or some rollback of sanctions—at least enough to permit inter-Korea reconciliation to move forward—is up for the negotiators of the two parties to decide. But if peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is the first path to denuclearization, is it not worth offering a concession in return to play ball? ...

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