Grace222 Post time: 2018-3-10 16:20
If DonaldTrump to meet Kim Jong-un,the son of the dictator who made the offer to Clinton, the challe ...
The past year of missile and nuclear tests have put Kim, by the estimates of Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, "within months" of proving he could hit any US city with a nuclear weapon. That gives the North Korean leader a Plan B that his father and his grandfather never enjoyed.
The risks are many.
No inspections have taken place for years. While the CIA and other intelligence agencies have lists of "suspect" sites, the nuclear and missile infrastructure appears to have grown dramatically. The last time International Atomic Energy Agency inspection teams were allowed inside North Korea, nearly a decade ago, they could not travel outside the heavily protected Yongbyon nuclear site.
Without freedom to roam the country, looking for evidence of a second uranium enrichment facility that the CIA believes exists but cannot prove, or for hidden mobile missile launchers, any agreement runs the risk of falling apart - as previous ones have.
"Not only would North Korea have to make a complete declaration of existing stocks - we would also need a mechanism to access suspected sites," said Gary Samore, who also joined the meeting in 2000 with Jo and returned to the White House as President Barack Obama's top nuclear adviser.
That, Samore notes, is "something North Korea has never agreed to."
Kim's opening offer is to suspend missile and nuclear testing while talks are underway. That would keep things from getting worse and is fairly easy to verify if a North Korean missile is launched or an underground test conducted.
But a freeze, as Tillerson noted in Seoul a year ago, would merely enshrine a status quo that Trump has viewed as intolerable. And it is far harder to verify the production of new nuclear material; the design and construction of weapons; continued research and development; and hardening of nuclear sites.
William Perry, the former defence secretary who handled the perilous 1994 crisis with North Korea, raised the critical issue on Thursday night: "How could we possibly verify such an agreement?"
"We don't know how many nuclear weapons they have operational or under construction; we don't know where all their nuclear facilities are; and we have never implemented a treaty that counts warheads, simply because it is so difficult to verify," he noted. "Our nuclear treaties with the Soviet Union and Russia counted missiles, not warheads."
"So it is a fundamental error to think that we could reliably verify a treaty by which North Korea agreed to dismantle all of their nuclear weapons," Perry added, underscoring that the Trump-Kim meeting is a beginning, not a solution.
Jo's initiative went nowhere. He died years ago, his visit to the Oval Office a failure.
This is a second chance, but a perilous one.