UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – According to US President Donald Trump, the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, is likely interested in renouncing his nuclear arsenal.
“For many years and numerous administrations, everyone has said that the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is absolutely unreal,” Trump wrote on Twitter on March 28. “Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong-un will do what’s right for his people and for humanity. Waiting for our meeting!”
But what Trump thinks Kim considers best for his people is almost certainly very different from what in fact is in the head of a North Korean leader on the eve of the expected denuclearization negotiations that could lead either to war or peace in the Korean the peninsula.
Pyongyang is not the first time to begin negotiations to avoid potential military consequences due to its nuclear ambitions. For decades, the North Korean dynasty Kimov worked on the creation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to prevent an external attack.
After the US invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, as well as the western air strikes with which the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power and barbarously killed in 2011, Kim will not want to risk and will not give up a single insurance against a similar attempts to change the regime in the DPRK.
He also has an example of his military ally – Iran, which in 2015 concluded a nuclear deal with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and China, but a year later Trump called it “a failure” and promised to cancel.
Thus, Kim Jong-un negotiates with Trump with minimal confidence that any agreement reached to close the North Korean nuclear program, including agreement on a permanent external inspection of military facilities, will be respected by Washington.
It is noteworthy that the North Korean society was not officially informed about the upcoming talks, which indicates that Kim is playing the game with the international community, and not with the internal audience.
Until now, almost everything that is known about the DPRK’s readiness for a dialogue with the US comes from South Korean mediators, mainly from the director of the National Security Directorate of South Korea, Chun EI-yang, the Asia Times reports.
So what did Kim Jong-un really plan?
After four costly nuclear tests since 2012 and dozens of rocket launches that were met with increasing international sanctions, the North Korean economy is in a very difficult situation and desperately needs funds to prevent a full-scale collapse.
According to the UN report released in July 2017, North Korea recorded a record low rainfall, which is a sign of a potentially acute shortage of food. International sanctions, meanwhile, made it almost impossible for Pyongyang to import enough fuel to meet basic needs.
It should be recalled that in the past, for the talks with the West, the DPRK was mainly driven by the famine in the country.
In October 1994, the United States and North Korea achieved what was then called the “agreed framework” in which Pyongyang pledged to freeze and eventually terminate its nuclear program under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In return, the DPRK promised Western aid in the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors for civilian use and 500,000 tons of fuel a year, as well as other assistance, including food aid.
According to the research service of the US Congress in the period from 1995 to 2008, Washington provided North Korea with $ 1.3 billion (50% for food, 40% for energy).
However, in the end, little came out of the “agreed framework”, as the promised light water reactors were never built because of Western suspicions about North Korea’s true intentions, and the food aid program did not take place against the backdrop of disagreements. Pyongyang, meanwhile, secretly continued its nuclear research program.
In 2012, the US and North Korea announced a new agreement, known as the “Leap Day Agreement”, as it was signed on February 29 in a leap year.
In this deal, Pyongyang pledged to observe a moratorium on uranium enrichment, rocket tests and allow international monitoring of key targets of its nuclear program. In return, the US announced that it will provide the DPRK 240,000 tons of food aid.
This agreement, like the failed “agreed framework,” did not last long. A few months later, the US suspended the supply of food because North Korea launched what it alleged was a satellite, but others suspected that it was related to its missile program.
Assistance in exchange for a promise to freeze the development of weapons of mass destruction has long been a trump card that North Korea takes out and then hides in negotiations with the US and the West as a whole.
Trump admitted on October 9 when he wrote on Twitter: “Our country had unsuccessful agreements with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars and getting nothing in return.” Politics did not work! ”
Given North Korea’s longstanding obsession with nuclear weapons, it seems unlikely that Kim Jong-un will abandon the atomic bomb in exchange for promises that Trump may or may not be able to contain.
As before, the negotiations are likely to focus on what North Korea needs here and now – money, food and time, but its long-term vision of WMD will remain the same.