U.S. Wants N.Korea Freeze as Beginning, Not End, of Denuclearization

The U.S. is considering suspending some sanctions on North Korea for 12 to 18 months in exchange for a freeze on the country’s nuclear weapons program the Yonhap News Agency

"North Korea will in all likelihood remain nuclear-armed and under the control of the Kim family for the next two decades".

Though it lacked substance, the impromptu meeting was the first between Trump and Kim since their second summit in Vietnam in February collapsed without any agreement due to squabbling over USA -led sanctions on the North, and the two leaders agreed to resume working-level nuclear talks.

"Misinterpreting North Korea's situation is unsafe", 38 North's analyst added.

Washington had baulked at signing a comprehensive peace treaty before North Korea takes substantial steps toward denuclearisation, but USA officials have signaled they may be willing to conclude a more limited agreement to reduce tensions, open liaison offices, and move toward normalizing relations.

The change is the latest example of Kim's efforts to establish North Korea a normal country that can be trusted with nuclear weapons and operate free from global sanctions.

"An approach that relies on economic isolation and coercion is unlikely to disarm North Korea and will inhibit efforts to shape the regime's transformation and mitigate its destabilizing behavior", the report said.

During his meeting with Trump at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjeom on June 30, Kim did not make specific remarks about how to realize security guarantees promised to North Korea, according to the diplomatic sources. McCarthy said she can't pinpoint whether Kim likes or dislikes Trump, . but he may be viewing Trump differently from past American presidents.

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In an apparent attempt to coax Washington into making concessions, Pyongyang warned in April that it would consider suspending denuclearization negotiations. Kim met with Putin in late April in Russia's eastern port city of Vladivostok and with Xi late last month in Pyongyang.

The United States would hope to see a freeze in the North Korean nuclear program as the start of a process of denuclearization, the State Department said on Tuesday, ahead of fresh talks with Pyongyang supposed to take place this month.

The two countries were also preparing to declare an end to the Korean War, a 1950-1953 conflict that was halted with an armistice.

However, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said a top South Korean presidential official visiting Washington expressed uncertainty on Friday that the talks, stalled since a failed summit in Hanoi in February, could resume this month.

The United States has promised security guarantees before.

The FAS report calls for "not just a policy shift, but a mindset shift", said Sokeel Park, South Korea country director for refugee-support group Liberty in North Korea, who contributed to the report. DPRK is an acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's formal name.

The administration led by Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, issued a joint statement with other negotiating parties, including North Korea, in September 2005 in which it affirmed that "it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons". The young ruler has had absolute control over political affairs since succeeding his father in late 2011, but now has the title of head of state at a time when North Korea's diplomacy is continuing to accelerate.

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