mandag 1. juli 2019

One Small Step for a President, One Giant Leap for Pyongyang

U.S. President Donald Trump has found a gesture that could create a breakthrough with Pyongyang: walking across the border into North Korea. But whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will respond with the detailed negotiations the Americans need is still up in the air. The collapse of the Hanoi summit between the two leaders in February created an impasse. Getting past it was going to require the Americans offering something symbolic, and the North Koreans offering something technical. Sunday, on the border between North and South Korea, the two sides may have done just that.

The Hanoi talks broke down in part because the North Korean side was not prepared to discuss the details of denuclearization in a way that was meaningful enough for the American side. The North Korean working-level negotiators were not empowered to discuss details, leaving it up to the leaders. This turned out to be far too late—and with too much uncertainty left in the process, Trump walked away from the table.

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