From the time Chairman Kim Jong-Un started his “charm offensive” early last year until the fallout of the second summit meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February 2019, officials and experts have debated whether North Korea is ready for denuclearization on the terms of the United States and its allies. Rather than focus negotiations on a foundation of unverifiable assumptions about Kim Jong-Un’s “intentions,” the United States and its allies in Northeast Asia (Japan and South Korea) need to start by asking themselves about their own priorities and interests.

The purpose of “Priority-Based Approach to the North Korean Nuclear Issue— An Enlightened Dose of Self-Centeredness,” a comprehensive report by Taisuke Mibae, visiting senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, is to present important questions that should be answered for negotiating with North Korea and review elements to be taken into account when deciding the answers. Although it is still unclear if and how US-North Korea denuclearization talks will reset and resume, this report will be a valuable measure for stepping back and viewing the current stalemate.