North Korea is a weak and isolated country, but it recently rebuffed demands by the United States, Russia, Japan, China, and South Korea to return to the Six Party Talks on eliminating its nuclear weapons program. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, says Pyongyang might participate in these negotiations “when conditions are suitable.”
What’s going on? It is one thing for North Korea to supply nuclear weapons to rogue states or terrorist groups; it’s another for it to say “no” to the most powerful nations on earth. The time has come for these five countries to act together to contain the immediate North Korean threat and address other threats that are emerging in Northeast Asia.
[John Bolton’s statement that the North Koreans “have not lived up to the commitments” made in Singapore] totally cuts Secretary of State Pompeo and the special representative, Steve Biegun, at the knees. What is the incentive for North Korea to actually talk about the meat-and-potatoes of denuclearization with the special representative and with the secretary of state if the national security adviser has said nothing is happening so we have to go straight to the top?