Road to north Korea’s denuclearisation is littered with failure

Road to north Korea's denuclearisation is littered with failure thumbnail
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Bill Clinton offered oil and reactors. George W Bush mixed threats and aid. Barack Obama stopped trying after a rocket launch.

While Seoul and Washington welcomed Pyongyang’s declaration on Saturday to suspend further intercontinental ballistic missile tests and shut down its nuclear test site, the past is littered with failure.

A decades-long cycle of crises, stalemates and broken promises gave North Korea the room to build up a legitimate arsenal that now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental ICBMs. The North’s latest announcement stopped well short of suggesting it has any intention of giving that up.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday to kick off a new round of high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang. The inter-Korean summit could set up more substantial discussions between Kim and President Donald Trump, who said he plans to meet the despot he previously called “Little Rocket Man” in May or June.

A look at previous negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington took shape:


The Clinton administration in October 1994 reached a major nuclear agreement with Pyongyang, ending months of war fears triggered by North Korea’s threat to withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and convert its stockpile of nuclear fuel into bombs.

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