A new letter to President Trump from North Korea
Kim Jong Un
has strengthened the cordial relationship between the two leaders and kept the door open for another summit, which Mr Trump said could happen soon.
"Thank you Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word and beginning the process of the home. The remains of our great and beloved missing persons please!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, which refers to the remains of US soldiers who were killed in the Korean War. "Also, thanks for your nice letter ̵
But the heartfelt feelings at the highest levels of government have not led to major advances in diplomacy at the working level on the elimination of nuclear weapons from North Korea rocket programs, according to the accounts of the two sides.
And while Mr. Kim was exuberant praising Mr. Trump, the North Korean leader spent his time visiting a potato farm instead of meeting with a foreign minister
during his visit to Pyongyang in July. The North Korean Foreign Ministry rejected these talks as "really disappointing."
At the heart of the problem, some former officials believe there is a possibility that the two sides of the Singapore Summit of June 12th between Messrs. Trump and Kim came up with fundamentally different expectations about the sequence of diplomatic moves to more than 60 Years of Hostility
"There remains a fundamental gap," said Robert Einhorn, a former US negotiator with Pyongyang about his missile programs, which is now at the Brookings Institution.
The statement signed by the two leaders in Singapore set out a comprehensive plan to establish new relationships and build a lasting "peace regime" alongside the commitment to work towards complete denuclearization. But it has the steps beyond that not described.
"The North wants to progressively promote de-nuclearisation without clearly advocating full elimination, and only if progress is made towards improved bilateral relations, including the lifting of sanctions and a peace treaty," Einhorn, Die Trump – Government wants quick and complete denuclearization, lower priorities in normalizing relations and a peace regime. "
Mr. Kim went with Mr. Trump this week to Mr. Pompeo and the US National Security Bureaucracy, possibly hoping for a more sympathetic one Reception. Mr. Trump wrote an answer on Thursday to Mr. Kim, the White House Press Secretary
She described it as consistent with her discussion at the summit in She offered no further details.
On possible North Korean moves, "if people expect them to fully disarm within two months, that's unreasonable," said Gregg Brazinsky, a North Korean expert at George Washington University in Washington who initiated the dialogue process. Also, given what he called Mr. Trump's "mercurial nature," Mr. Brazinsky said it was "very, very difficult for North Korea to fully trust the approach process."
Skeptics say that North Korea could do what it did in 2008 when it introduced a cooling tower internationally at its Yongbyon plutonium-producing site, but later built an experimental light water reactor in the same location – that is, making some gestures Gaining time and weakening international support for sanctions, although not fundamentally changing the nature of the program
Since the Singapore Summit, North Korea has built two new buildings in a rocket facility and appears to be actively pursuing production there, according to satellite imagery San Francisco based image service provider Planet Labs Inc and analyzed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California
. Pompeo said last week before Congress that the North is still producing fissile material.
Gary Samore, senior official of the National Security Council for weapons of mass destruction in the Obama administration and now the Belfer Center of Harvard University, said the North can have two goals.
"The first is to construct a process that will allow them to abandon their nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future," Samore said. "The second is to get as many economic benefits as possible from South Korea and Japan."
With a few advances, some former officials say that the government is smart enough to set less ambitious goals. For example, Mr. Samore said that the government may also be able to reach a verifiable ban on the production of fissile material instead of continuing to demand complete denuclearization.
Others say the Trump government should meet its denuclearization target, however, make further efforts to address North Korea's concerns by opening negotiations for a peace treaty, while calling for Pyongyang to take steps to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs undertakes.
"It's not surprising that each side has set its maximum opening requirements with minimum offers of what it will do in return," said Joel Wit, a former State Department official now in the Stimson Center.
He added, "The trick is to find the sweet spot where the two can meet." 19659003] Write to Michael R. Gordon at [email protected] , Michael C. Bender to [email protected] and Jonathan Cheng to [email protected]