Is US/North Korea Summit Doomed to Fail?

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May 3, 2018
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May 4, 2018

Is US/North Korea Summit Doomed to Fail?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

If past is prologue, things aren’t encouraging. Throughout the entire post-WW II period, Washington has been militantly hostile toward North Korea – for its sovereign independence, not for any threat it posed.

Intermittent US talks with Pyongyang failed each time initiated. Will this time be different when hawkish US neocon extremists will be dealing with North Korea, a nation they despise?

Prospects aren’t favorable – including what happens if an agreement is reached. US history is clear – a record of breached treaties, conventions and other deals, America agreeing to one thing, then going another way.

Examples are endless. GHW Bush’s secretary of state James Baker’s “iron-clad” pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO “one inch eastward” toward Russia’s borders was flagrantly breach by succeeding US administrations.

Today, US-led NATO forces surround Russia, posing a major threat to its security. Can North Korea fare better than Russia in dealing with America? It takes a foolhardy leap of faith to believe it.

Twice earlier, Washington engaged in diplomacy with the DPRK, initiatives offering aid in return for abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

Both efforts failed. In 1994, an Agreed Framework was agreed on between both countries.

Pyongyang agreed to freeze and replace its nuclear power plant program with a light water nuclear reactor, along with steps toward normalizing relations with Washington.

The Clinton administration agreed to build two light-water reactors by 2003. In the interim, it would supply Pyongyang with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel annually.

US sanctions would be lifted. The DPRK would be removed from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list. Both countries agreed to provide “formal assurances” against threatened or actual use of nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang agreed to allow Washington to monitor its nuclear sites. The deal collapsed after GW Bush called North Korea part of an axis of evil in his first State of the Union address.

The DPRK upheld its part of the deal. Washington systematically breached it, reneging on its word. North Korea responded by resuming its plutonium enrichment program.

Its nuclear weapons deterrent was developed because Washington can’t be trusted – not earlier, not today, not ever unless or until evidence proves otherwise. None so far exists.

In August 2003, so-called six-party talks were initiated, involving America, China, Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea.

In 2005, Pyongyang pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.” In 2009, talks broke down following disagreements over verification, along with international condemnation of a DPRK ballistic missile test – what many other countries do without criticism of their programs.

North Korea responded to the breakdown in talks, saying it would never reengage in diplomacy accomplishing nothing. Nor was it bound by earlier agreements.

US hostility, toughness and betrayal defined bilateral relations for years. Pyongyang earlier said “if the US has a will to drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK, it will have dialogue…the ball is in the court of the US side.”

The key stumbling block always isn’t what Washington pledges. It’s what happens next, repeatedly and consistently breaching agreements reached.

US/North Korea diplomatic initiatives throughout the years were pockmarked with failure, the DPRK falsely blamed for Washington’s betrayal.

Will history repeat under Trump? Will a so far unscheduled summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un occur?

If both leaders meet for summit talks in the weeks ahead, is anything positive possible? Can Washington be expected to keep its word on whatever might be pledged?

Will it turn a new leaf for peace on the Korean peninsula, agreeing to steps toward normalizing relations with Pyongyang – including respecting its sovereign independence, formally ending the 1950s Korean War, and removing hostile sanctions?

John Bolton earlier urged ending North Korea, saying: “The only longterm way to deal with (its) nuclear weapons program is to end (the) regime,” adding:

“It’s not enough…to impose sanctions…(T)his regime poses a threat to stability in the region that undermines security” – promoting war, not diplomatic outreach and peace.

Pompeo earlier lied claiming a North Korean threat, a few months away from being able to strike US cities with nuclear weapons, ignoring its peace agenda, never having attacked another country throughout its history.

Ahead of possible Trump/Kim Jong-un summit talks, he mocked inter-Korean diplomacy, calling it “a faint…not likely to lead to any true change…”

In his first address as secretary of state, he said “(o)ur objective (on the Korean peninsula) remains unchanged. We’re committed to permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Koreans’ weapons of mass destruction programs without delay. Until then, the global maximum pressure campaign will continue.”

Are Pompeo and Bolton actively working to undermine positive results of a Trump/Kim Jong-un summit?

Do they oppose dealmaking with the DPRK? Bolton may have leaked US intelligence information to a right-wing Washington think tank, claiming without evidence that Pyongyang intends to produce nuclear-grade graphite nuclear reactors need to operate, suggesting it violates the spirit of summit talks – to generate public opposition to any agreement with Kim.

Earlier on Fox News Sunday, Bolton said “(w)e have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004” in discussions with North Korea.

Gaddafi abandoned Libya’s WMD development. In February 2011, US-dominated NATO launched naked aggression against the country, raping and destroying it, transforming Africa’s most developed country into a dystopian charnel house, sodomizing Gaddafi to death – things remaining violent and chaotic today.

Longstanding hostile US relations toward North Korea suggest it’s unlikely for anything positive to come from Kim/Trump summit talks if they occur – over the longterm, what matters most.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.