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The Korean Peace Process

18 Dec

In late June, just a few weeks after Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un shook hands and watched a propaganda film about themselves in Singapore, several news outlets excitedly reported that the American President had been duped. Their source was 38 North, a nonpartisan website that publishes North Korea analysis and that had found, through examining satellite imagery, that North Korea was continuing to expand and improve the infrastructure at its nuclear research facility in Yongbyon. “Hold the champagne on North Korea, President Trump,” chided a Washington Post editorial headline. NBC News described Trump’s decision to suspend military training exercises on the Korean peninsula in the wake of the Singapore summit as “a major concession,” one that didn’t look so good in light of this new satellite imagery. On the basis of these editorials and the 38 North satellite imagery analysis, a consensus soon emerged: the Kim regime had been negotiating in bad faith, and Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have to respond accordingly. “The observed activity appears inconsistent with a North Korean intent to abandon its nuclear weapons programs,” a North Korea wonk from the Heritage Foundation told NBC. “There seems little reason to continue expansion plans if the regime intended to dismantle them as would be required under a denuclearization agreement.”

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Posted by on December 18, 2018 in Asia

 

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