Why North Korea/US Summit Talks Failed
Weeks before the June 2018 Kim Jong-un/Trump summit in Singapore, I wrote the following:
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?
US history is clear – a record of breached treaties, conventions and other deals, Washington agreeing to one thing, then going another way – why it can never be trusted.
Examples of its treachery are endless, most recently Trump’s JCPOA Iran nuclear deal and INF Treaty pullouts.
Candidate Trump promised to be non-interventionist in relations with other countries. He vowed to stay out of foreign wars, saying:
“I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V. The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies.”
He promised to be “neutral” in dealings with Israel and the Palestinians – in response to a question on a campaign stop, saying he wants to “be sort of a neutral guy” on this issue.
He broke virtually every positive pre-election promise that mattered, saying one thing, then doing things entirely different at home and abroad.
Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton bore full responsibility for the breakdown in February 27 – 28 summit talks with Kim Jong-un.
According to Reuters, talks broke down because of unacceptable Trump regime demands, saying DLT “handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to the document seen by Reuters,” adding:
“Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the US position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on Feb. 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity.”
“It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearization directly to Kim, the source said.”
The US document demanded full dismantlement of “North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure chemical and biological warfare program and related dual-use capabilities; and ballistic missiles, launchers, and associated facilities” – in return for nothing, not even modest good faith gestures, just empty promises to be broken like countless times before.
Other unacceptable/one-sided demands included Pyongyang providing the Trump regime a full and comprehensive explanation of its nuclear program, giving US inspectors unimpeded access to its facilities, halting construction of everything related to its nuclear activities, along with shifting its scientists and technicians to non-nuclear activities.
This is what the Trump regime means by “final, fully verifiable, denuclearization” – handing over duel-use technologies to the US as well.
According to DPRK Programs for the Korean American Medical Association Kee Park, these technologies capable of producing biological weapons are essential for medical and technical research.
Author of “Crisis in Korea: America, China, and the Risk of War” Tim Beal said “virtually all technology you can possibly think of is dual use.”
A Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey report on North Korea identified scores of documents with what it called “identifiable significance for dual-use technology, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or other military purpose,” adding:
“(S)ome of these activities may be contrary to provisions in international and national sanctions regimes.”
By developing key technologies indigenously, “North Korea seeks to reduce its need to import sensitive goods that might otherwise be denied to it through export controls, sanctions enforcement, or lack of funds.”
“Direct collaboration between North Korean and foreign scientists is playing an expanding role in (its) pursuit of technological advancement.”
Dual-use items include uranium purification, usage of high voltage cables, precision machine tools, carbon composites, laser and plasmonics research, biological research potentially of a dual-use character and cybersecurity, as well as much more, according to the report.
The Trump regime’s ultimatum to Kim represented Bolton’s “Libya model.” Last year on Fox News Sunday, he said in dealings with North Korea, “(w)e have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004.”
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.
Pyongyang has no intention of entrapping itself the same way, its nuclear and ballistic missile technologies key deterrents against feared US aggression.
It’s willing to abandon them only with iron-glad security guarantees, and other important demands, permitting normalization of relations with other countries.
Ahead of last February’s summit, North Korea said the US must cease “all source of nuclear threats” on the peninsula and regionally for it to consider denuclearization.
Its other reasonable demands include a formal peace treaty ending the uneasy 1950s armistice, lifting of unacceptable sanctions, normalizing relations with the US and West, along with respecting its sovereign rights.
Pyongyang also strongly objects to joint US/South Korean military exercises it justifiably considers rehearsals for war on its territory.
Hostile US relations toward the DPRK throughout the entire post-WW II period suggest virtually no chance for normalizing bilateral relations.
Summit talks changed nothing – nor will further ones ahead. The US wants all other nations subordinating their sovereign rights to its interests.
That’s not the stuff fair, normalized, and equitable relations are made of – not with North Korea or any other countries.
Note: After failed February summit talks, the DPRK accused Pompeo and Bolton of “gangster-like” demands, saying it might suspend further talks with the US and rethink its self-imposed nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”