Trump and Kim Jong-un Meet Again: Here’s What’s at Stake – The New York Times

What is “denuclearization”?

The United States and North Korea have yet to agree on what “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” entails.

Washington wants the “final, fully verifiable” dismantlement of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, fissile materials and production facilities. But North Korea has indicated, at times, that it will not give up its nuclear deterrent until the United States removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and keeps its long-range bombers, aircraft carriers and other nuclear-capable military assets away from the peninsula.

How quickly would the deal take effect?

The Singapore agreement was not the first time North Korea had committed to denuclearization and then dragged its feet. This time, Washington wants the North to commit to a specific timeline so that it won’t string out the process indefinitely.

What comes first, American concessions or the North’s disarmament?

Both sides have exchanged lists of what they expect the other to do to implement the Singapore deal. The North’s list is long. It wants the United States to lift sanctions; replace the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War with a peace treaty; normalize diplomatic ties; provide economic aid; and, possibly, withdraw its troops from South Korea.

The real difficulty comes in figuring out what actions and rewards are mutually acceptable and the order in which they should be deployed. North Korea insists on moving “in phases” toward complete denuclearization to ensure that Washington delivers “action-for-action” steps to keep its end of the bargain.

How would the North be kept honest?

Washington has demanded that North Korea declare the locations and other details of its entire nuclear inventory and allow for international inspections. North Korea has said it will not do that until it knows it can trust the Americans. Past talks between the two sides collapsed over this difference.

Analysts say North Korea would never give up its nuclear arsenal in a quick, one-shot deal, but would instead insist on a series of concessions.

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