North Korea Has No Plans to Denuclearize (Of Course)

Donald Trump has spent a lot of time bragging on Twitter about how he solved the problem of North Korea, but, like everything else he says, it was undiluted bullshit. All he did, as he was warned, was legitimize Kim Jong Un's regime, at least in the North Korean leader's own eyes. And now Kim feels empowered to brazenly tell the world, including and especially the U.S. and Donald Trump, to fuck off.

Kim Tong-Hyung at the AP reports:
North Korea said Thursday it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States first removes what Pyongyang called a nuclear threat. The surprisingly blunt statement jars with Seoul's rosier presentation of the North Korean position and could rattle the fragile trilateral diplomacy to defuse a nuclear crisis that last year had many fearing war.

...The North's comments may also be seen as proof of what outside skeptics have long said: that Kim will never voluntarily relinquish an arsenal he sees as a stronger guarantee of survival than whatever security assurances the United States might provide. The statement suggests North Korea will eventually demand the United States withdraw or significantly reduce the 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea, a major sticking point in any disarmament deal.

...North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of denuclearization that bears no resemblance to the American definition, with Pyongyang vowing to pursue nuclear development until the United States removes its troops and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan. In Thursday's statement, the North made clear it's sticking to its traditional stance on denuclearization. It accused Washington of twisting what had been agreed on in Singapore and driving post-summit talks into an impasse.

"The United States must now recognize the accurate meaning of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and especially, must study geography," the statement said.

"When we talk about the Korean Peninsula, it includes the territory of our republic and also the entire region of (South Korea) where the United States has placed its invasive force, including nuclear weapons. When we talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it means the removal of all sources of nuclear threat, not only from the South and North but also from areas neighboring the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.

...The statement could jeopardize a second Trump-Kim summit as the United States may have difficulty negotiating further if the North ties the future of its nukes to the U.S. military presence in the South, analysts said.
And the most significant barrier to any sort of reasonable outcome remains the fact that both North Korea and the United States are led by indecent authoritarian assholes who arrived in their positions via nepotism rather than merit and surround themselves with sycophants who assure them they're brilliant despite their obvious limitations as leaders and vast collections of profound character flaws.

And lest anyone imagine that the situation might improve if Trump were removed from office, Mike Pence seemingly wants a war with North Korea even more than his boss does.

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