Kim Jong Un stated that the North Korea would permanently dismantle the missile engine test site and launch platform in Dongchang-ri under the observation of experts from relevant countries in the recently announced Pyongyang Joint Declaration.
He also expressed his willingness to permanently dismantle the nuclear facilities in Yeongbyeon if the United States takes corresponding measures.
It was reported that Kim Jong Un expressed his willingness to take additional measures for the denuclearization of North Korea.
There are some who argue that Kim Jong Un has expressed enough willingness to denuclearize, so the United States should abandon its old position of ‘denuclearization first, then end-of-war declaration.’
These arguments are portraying the US as being ‘abnormal’ for pushing North Korea to follow the proper process of dismantlement, while depicting Kim Jong Un, who is dragging along the dismantlement process, as being ‘normal.’
During President Moon Jae-in’s stay in North Korea, Kim Jong Un did not revealed the timeline for reporting the list of North Korea’s nuclear facilities, which is a core of the denuclearization process.
Right now, we are standing at a crossroads.
Down one path is moving forward without receiving a list of nuclear facilities and holding a second US-North Korea Summit to adopt the end-of-war declaration; and taking measures such as the lifting of sanctions in response to the dismantlement of the Yeongbyeon nuclear facilities.
This is exactly what Kim Jong Un wants.
The second path is what can be seen as the normal denuclearization process like receiving the list of nuclear facilities first, then adopting the end-of-war declaration and then proceeding fully with the denuclearization process based on the list received.
It is important to note that the Yeongbyeon nuclear facility that Kim Jong Un has thrown in is actually a futile facility for North Korea which has already completed the development of nuclear weapons and acquired enough materials to produce more nuclear weapons in the future.
Putting the dismantlement of these old nuclear facilities before the reporting the list of facilities is a ‘New Salami Tactic’ that will allow North Korea to bide more time by throwing in other old nuclear facilities in exchange for a corresponding price.
This type of nuclear dismantlement completely contradicts Kim Jong Un’s statement of wanting to finish the denuclearization process as early as possible in order to concentrate on economic development.
It will take even several years to dismantle nuclear weapons of North Korea if we receive the list of nuclear facilities now.
So if we do not get nuclear list from Kim Jong Un now, then it means that he would be allowed to keep his nuclear weapons at least for several years from now.
If Kim Jong un is allowed to go ahead with the selective dismantlement of nuclear facilities in exchange for corresponding measures according to his ‘Salami Tactic’, then next year will be dedicated to the verification and shutdown of the Yeongbyeon nuclear facility, and the following year will be the dismantlement of the next facility that is thrown in by North Korea.
With this method, eventually President Moon and President Trump’s terms will end without ever seeing North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
If the process of North Korea’s nuclear dismantlement goes down to Kim Jong Un’s path, denuclearization will not be closer to us but rather more distant and our children and their descendants will have to live their lives in suspense with North Korea’s nuclear weapons looming over them.