The 2010 New START Treaty with Russia reduces long-range nuclear arms. President Trump may seek a different deal, however, as he did in renegotiating NAFTA. But NAFTA talks succeeded because America had predominant leverage and because Canada and Mexico are friends. Neither holds true with Russia.
Arms negotiations may offer the only way to reduce the grave threat posed to the United States and allied security by China's missiles. U.S. owned and operated missiles could provide the best bargaining chips.
Why did Kim Jong-un substitute releasing the North Korean Workers' Party Plenary report instead of his traditional New Year's address? As with many things in North Korea, we do not know, forcing us to speculate.
North Korea's extreme rhetoric is worrying people in Northeast Asia. Pyongyang is threatening a presumably violent “Christmas gift” to the United States at the same time that Washington's patience with Pyongyang has worn thin.
North Korea has been reminding the United States that the window to negotiate a nuclear deal is closing. Pyongyang will likely continue trying to force Washington's hand into a deal that allows North Korea to keep its weapons while still reaping economic and political concessions.
After two summits between the United States and North Korea, and little to show in the way of deliverables on dismantlement, hopes that a third summit may yield a denuclearization deal seem a bit unrealistic. Essentially, there has been no indication of intent on Kim's part to denuclearize. But the North Korea problem is much greater than nukes.
North Korea test-fired short-range ballistic missiles for the first time in 18 months. President Trump is downplaying the tests, refusing to call them a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But if North Korea starts testing longer-range missiles, it could become harder for Washington to return to talks, risking the end of diplomacy with Pyongyang altogether.
The best-case scenario for U.S.-North Korea relations is that President Trump and Kim Jong-un remain committed to diplomacy. In the worst-case scenario, both countries' frustrations could spiral out of control.
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might agree at their summit this week in Hanoi, Vietnam, to declare an end to the Korean War. Since this conflict stopped 66 years ago, what would be the practical impact of such declaration?
Kim Jong-Un has said he wants North Korea to become a normal country. Agreeing to a series of short-term measures could reveal his truthfulness as much as large measures could. This could also pave the way to eventually achieving the larger goals.
It's difficult to predict the outcome of the second summit between Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump. At the first, Kim offered to fully denuclearize during President Trump's first term. But he continued building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. If Kim keeps stalling, serious tensions could follow.
In early 2018, Kim Jong Un signaled that he was ready to negotiate abandoning North Korea's nuclear weapons with the United States. But since then, Pyongyang hasn't taken steps to denuclearize. The DPRK's actions speak louder than its words.
While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has suggested he may be prepared to abandon his nuclear ambitions, there has been no proof that he is serious. The United States could take steps to discover Kim's true intentions.