Foreign Policy

Kim's Latest Olive Branch: No More Nuclear Tests

Notably, however, he stopped short of saying North Korea would dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

Nate Jackson · Apr. 23, 2018

Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea and nuclear puppet of China, announced over the weekend that the Hermit Kingdom will immediately suspend testing of missiles and nuclear weapons, as well as scrap its nuclear test site altogether. Of course, Kim couched the announcement as having achieved his goal of developing those weapons, making further testing unnecessary. And, notably, he stopped short of saying North Korea would dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Yet we’ve come a long way from regular missile tests and Kim’s threat last year of “thousands-fold” vengeance against the U.S.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site,” Trump said publicly. “This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit.” Privately, however, Trump says he’ll believe it when he sees it. After all, the Kim family dictatorship has a long history of making promises only to break them, and Kim’s express purpose up until now was developing weapons capable of striking the U.S.

Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in next week and with President Donald Trump sometime in May or June. The latter meeting was announced on the same day Trump laid out his plan for steel tariffs that would hit China. Coincidence? Nope.

There is no doubt that apparent concessions by North Korea are in response to punitive sanctions issued last fall and, more recently, to Trump’s tariffs. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are indeed about unfair economic practices on the part of Beijing, but they’re also about convincing China to rein in North Korea. Progress may indeed be happening, even if Kim’s announcement is simply meant to keep talks on track for the time being.

Kim surely hopes that some olive branches will do the trick without having to abandon his nuclear program entirely. But one thing we’re fairly confident of: Trump won’t be making any Obama-Iran deals. He won’t win a Nobel Peace Prize either.

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