In what has to be the best news yet out of the Korean peninsula is word from the South Korean government that Kim said he would dismantle his nuclear program in exchange for the US agreeing to end the 65-year-old Korean War and promise not to invade North Korea. Both of those conditions would be fine with the United States.
Next month Kim plans to dismantle his underground nuclear testing site and said as proof he would allow US and South Korean experts and journalists to witness the dismantling. President Trump was hopeful that a deal would be made and hopes that the total dismantling could be done in as little as two years, taking into account that you can’t rush closing down the program more quickly and safely.
Skeptics (Democrats who don’t want Trump getting positive press) are warning that previous deal had been offered in the past but did not follow through. But none of those occurred under Kim. And never before did North Korean leaders offer to allow experts in to watch.
Kim told South Korea: “I know the Americans are inherently disposed against us, but when they talk with us, they will see that I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific or at the United States.”
But that’s exactly what he threatened to do just months ago. The promise not to invade puzzled nonexperts but the truth is probably that Kim will use it as propaganda to convince his subjects that North Korea got a major concession in exchange for their nukes.
This is hopeful but the proof comes later but in the meantime, there is a reason to believe that a crisis has been diverted by the tough-talking President Donald Trump.
That would be accompanied by a “full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear program with a full international verification,” said John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser.
The apparent concessions from the youthful leader were widely welcomed as perhaps the most promising signs yet of ending a standoff on the Korean Peninsula frozen in place since fighting in the Korean War ended 65 years ago.