South Korea

  • Manning in the Hill: Positive Moon-Kim Summit Creates a Diplomatic Opening in North Korea


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  • Testing North Korea's Nuclear Offer

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to dismantle missile facilities in the presence of international inspectors and take steps toward denuclearization—provided the United States takes “corresponding measures.”

    US President Donald J. Trump called Kim’s pledges “very exciting” on Twitter.

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  • US-North Korea Impasse Puts South Korea in a Bind

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in has prioritized mending ties with North Korea. His high-stakes diplomacy is playing out on the sidelines of a US effort to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. Moon’s effort has been marked by a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a rare, albeit brief, reunion of families divided by the war six decades ago. There are, however, limits to how far Moon can proceed absent progress in US-North Korean diplomacy.

    Moon has staked his presidency on achieving peace with North Korea. These stakes are especially high. That’s what a lot of us are worried about,” said Robert Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, referring to the political risk facing Moon. “The South Koreans have tried to walk right up to the edge of doing things that advance North-South relations without going over the line. The stalemate of our policy is putting them in a really difficult position,” he added.

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  • The United States and North Korea: Back to Square One?

    US President Donald J. Trump on August 24 abruptly cancelled Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s planned trip to North Korea. Explaining his decision in a tweet, Trump wrote: “because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

    Days later, on August 28, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said it appeared the North Koreans were having second thoughts about denuclearization.

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  • Trump-Kim Summit’s Success Was ‘Oversold’

    Interview with Alexander Vershbow, an Atlantic Councildistinguished fellow and former US ambassador to South Korea

    The recent setbacks to US efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons hold a lesson for US President Donald J. Trump’s administration: “It is a reminder that we need to engage with Kim Jong-un with our eyes open, and not put so much faith in the value of good personal relations,” according to Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    Trump and Kim participated in a summit in Singapore on June 12. Trump has since lavished praise on the North Korean dictator, describing him as “a very worthy, smart negotiator.”  In his August 24 tweets in which he announced his decision to cancel US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang because he felt the North Koreans have not made enough progress on denuclearization, Trump made sure to send his “warmest regards and respect” to Kim.

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  • Vershbow Quoted in VOA on the US-South Korea Alliance and Denuclearization


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  • Beyond the Trump-Kim Summit: A Coalition is Critical for Achieving Denuclearization

    In the wake of US President Donald J. Trump’s June 12 summit with North Korean leader  Kim Jong-un, R. Nicholas Burns, an Atlantic Council board member who served as US undersecretary of state from 2005 to 2008, discussed the tough work that lies ahead and lessons from a not too distant past.

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  • Trump-Kim Summit: It’s What Happens Next that Counts

    US President Donald J. Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 is a diplomatic win for the United States, but whether it is a strategic victory will depend on the implementation of the joint agreement signed by the two leaders, according to Michael Morell, an Atlantic Council board member and former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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  • Trump and Kim Jong-un Make History

    US President Donald J. Trump made history when he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. This was the first time that a sitting US president has met the leader of North Korea.

    Atlantic Council analysts shared their thoughts on the outcome of the summit. This is what they had to say.

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  • Trump-Kim Summit: Expect the Unexpected

    Even if US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fail to achieve a breakthrough in their highly-anticipated summit in Singapore on June 12—Trump administration officials have been privately ratcheting down expectations—the summit in and of itself will be historic. It will be the first time that a sitting US president has met the leader of North Korea. The meeting provides an important opportunity to make headway on a protracted nonproliferation challenge.

    Trump has held out the possibility of a White House invitation for Kim if the summit goes well.

    However, given the unpredictability of both Trump and Kim, expect the unexpected.

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