Washington, D.C. – The politics of negotiating with North Korea have changed, and the United States and the international community should seize this opportunity to make progress before it disappears, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.
The report finds that a year after the historic Singapore summit, there is a window of opportunity for the United States and North Korea—with the support of other key countries—to strike an interim deal exchanging the dismantlement of some nuclear facilities for sanctions relief. While such a deal may not be perfect, it would very likely earn the support of all relevant players and open the possibility of more progress, the report says.
Factors favoring a deal include a progressive government in Seoul that is keen to develop better relations with North Korea and a willingness from Pyongyang to engage. Meanwhile, an erratic and unpredictable President Donald Trump is looking to score political wins. Critics believe that President Trump’s uncoordinated and undisciplined approach makes it difficult to succeed, but they genuinely support diplomacy and recognize that there are few better choices available.
“If President Trump were to strike an interim deal with Kim Jong Un that included concrete North Korean actions halting or rolling back the country’s nuclear program, he would likely find significant support in Washington and among the American people,” said Michael Fuchs, a senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the report. “At a minimum, he would not face serious opposition.”
The core elements of an interim deal must include:
- Verifiable dismantling of significant nuclear facilities
- Step-by-step sanctions relief
- A formal testing moratorium
- Established processes for implementation and follow-up
Read the report: “The Time is Right for a Deal with North Korea” by Michael Fuchs and Abigail Bard.
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.