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Editorial: U.S. should not compromise with DPRK for immediate outcome

The U.S. should not make easy compromises for an immediate outcome. A second U.S.-DPRK summit meeting is slated for late February. While maintaining the principle of denuclearization, we want the U.S. to have North Korea take concrete actions to produce a desired outcome toward creating a stable and peaceful environment.

 

The U.S. or North Korea has yet to announce anything in detail about where to hold the summit meeting, but we want to appreciate the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea to hold the second summit meeting.

 

During the first U.S.-DPRK summit held last June, North Korea promised to make efforts to completely denuclearize the country.

 

Furthermore, in order to create a sustainable and peaceful environment, the two countries agreed to establish a new type of relationship.

 

It was a new approach to first improve bilateral relations and then work to resolve issues. In response to the agreement, North Korea has not taken such provocative actions as missile launches and nuclear tests.

 

The ROK and the DPRK have removed observation posts in the Demilitarized Zone and conducted a groundbreaking ceremony of constructing a railway to connect the two countries. We can say that these are outcomes of the first U.S.-DPRK summit.

 

Regrettably, however, their agreement in written form did not specify what to do for denuclearization.

 

North Korea insists on phased denuclearization and demands that the international community ease economic sanctions against the country. The U.S. maintains that it will not ease the sanctions until North Korea denuclearizes itself. The countries are at odds and negotiations have remained stalled.

 

Under the circumstances, Workers Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un clearly stated in his New Year’s remarks delivered on Jan. 1 this year that North Korea will not manufacture, test, use, or proliferate nuclear weapons.

 

If the North Korean leader has such a strong resolve, he should accept an inspection at Yongbyon’s nuclear facilities, one of North Korea’s mainstay bases for nuclear development, and should start dismantling the facilities.

 

The DPRK has already expressed its intention to scrap the Yongbyon facilities “if the U.S. takes appropriate measures.”

 

U.S. President Donald Trump is currently facing a political turmoil at home. The president promptly announced his plan to hold the second summit with the DPRK. That’s probably because he wanted to appeal to the American people on his diplomatic achievement.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently appeared on a TV program, during which he also referred to the upcoming U.S.-DPRK summit. He said, “The summit meeting is ultimately for the American people’s security.” His remarks provoked various speculations.

 

One of the speculations is that the U.S. prioritizes North Korea’s action to dismantle its intercontinental ballistic missiles threatening the U.S. mainland and that the U.S. may agree to ease some of its economic sanctions imposed on North Korea.

 

Such a compromise is in effect tantamount to accepting the DPRK’s possession of nuclear weapons. This would not be convincing to the international community including North Korea’s neighbors like Japan.

 

In order to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea will inevitably have to proceed with its denuclearization. That must not be forgotten.

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