How to Make Proportionate Bargains with North Korea on Denuclearization and Peace
Working-level talks will be held this weekend between America and North Korea. What happens next? Can a deal be struck?
Denuclearization will inevitably be a very long, complicated process because of the time it takes to negotiate agreements, the size and complexity of North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure, and North Korean negotiating style. Past experiences dealing with Pyongyang make it easy to be skeptical about any prospects for meaningful progress. North Korea would certainly make the same argument about the United States. However, both Washington and Pyongyang are presented with an opportunity to test each other directly through negotiations to see if history can genuinely be made between two unconventional leaders. It would be prudent for both sides to allow diplomatic negotiations to function properly before calling it quits.
Duyeon Kim is a Seoul-based Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a Columnist with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She specializes in the two Koreas, nuclear nonproliferation, arms control, and East Asian relations. An earlier, expanded version of this commentary appeared in Kim’s CNAS Report “Negotiating Toward a Denuclearization-Peace Roadmap on the Korean Peninsula” and can be found here.