By: Ambassador Alexander “Sandy” Vershbow
What is the kernel of the issue?
The Biden administration shouldn’t give up on the goal of denuclearization of North Korea, despite the failure of top-level negotiations between former President Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Why is the issue important?
The North Korean nuclear and missile threat continues to grow, and accepting North Korea as a nuclear weapons state could lead Japan and South Korea to pursue nuclear weapons of their own, jeopardizing regional stability and US non-proliferation goals.
What is the recommendation?
The Biden administration should go back to the 2018 Trump-Kim Singapore Summit statement as the basis for a step-by-step “parallel track” approach. This could lead to denuclearization, peace on the Korean peninsula, and normalized relations between Washington and Pyongyang in tandem with the gradual easing of sanctions.