South Korea

  • 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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  • Trump-Kim Summit: A Disarmament Checklist

    These are the steps that should be taken to ensure denuclearization and disarmament of North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

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  • Trump Kim-Summit: The Best-Case Scenario

    US President Donald J. Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. Atlantic Council analysts present their views on what they believe to be an achievable, best-case outcome, one that would test North Korea’s readiness for genuine, rapid denuclearization by demanding front-loaded “down payments” during the first twelve months.  

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  • US-China Cooperation Vital for the Success of Trump-Kim Summit

    When US President Donald J. Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 it will be due in large part to the close cooperation between the United States and China over the past year.

    Sino-US cooperation is critical to resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis. Since Trump took office in 2017, the United States and China have narrowed their differences on the issue and have refined their respective approaches to reaching an end goal.

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