What to expect from negotiations with North Korea
On state run media Friday, there was a major declaration to the North Korean people, and the world.
“We no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests,” said North Korean news presenter Ri Chun-hee.
The announcement comes ahead of a meeting this week with South Korea, and in the next month or so with the United States.
Just what does a denuclearized North Korea look like?
Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, said in an interview Monday, it depends on who you ask.
“From the American perspective we have been fairly consistent it is the complete irreversible and verifiable elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program to the point where it can’t be reconstituted,” Cheng said.
What might the North want in return?
Cheng said the country may ask for an end to the U.S. commitment to South Korea, which would likely be a non-starter. Kim Jong Un may also ask for an elimination of sanctions, an opening up of trade and access to the global financial network.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are voicing cautious optimism about the talks.
“It's a beginning. They are a threat to the United States. I very much welcome this approach,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday.
“I think this announcement on Friday is better than continued testing but it's not much better than that,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) also on Face the Nation.
President Trump denounced his detractors in a weekend tweet, saying pundits that couldn’t come close to make a deal are telling him how to do so.
“I think the president is quite entitled to say look- I’ve gotten us down a different path and farther down that path than anyone had previously been able to achieve dating back at least to the 1994 agreed framework if not earlier,” Cheng said.