Trump should prioritize denuclearization timetable at another meeting with Kim: expert

A second meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un should be a substantial one focusing on a specific timetable for the denuclearization of North Korea, an expert said amid reports the White House is coordinating another meeting between the two leaders.

Trump and Kim held their first historical talks in June in Singapore, where the two leaders only superficially signed a non-binding joint declaration containing stereotype diplomatic parlance, setting no timeframe for denuclearization and mentioning no methods about how to denuclearize.

Describing the first Trump-Kim meeting as fruitless, Evans Revere, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for East Asia Policy Studies, said that Trump should try to avoid making the same mistake he made at the first meeting and must press Kim to make a promise about what exactly to do during the process of denuclearization.

The United States should ask North Korea to make clear the locations of its existing nuclear facilities and how many nuclear materials and nuclear warheads are stored at the next summit, said Revere, who is also senior director with the Albright Stonebridge Group where he provides strategic advice to clients with a specific focus on Korea, China and Japan.

The United States should also urge Pyongyang at the second summit to give a timetable about when international inspectors are allowed to verify North Korea's denuclearization, said Revere.

The United States must take the opportunity to solve the North Korean nuclear issue as Kim has expressed willingness to mend fences with the United States and South Korea, according to Revere.

Recently, Kim proposed another meeting with his US counterpart, saying that his country is willing to permanently dismantle key missile facilities in the presence of outside experts.

During a news briefing in Seoul shortly after his meeting with Kim in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that Kim expressed his wish to completely and quickly denuclearize and focus on economic development. "He hoped a second meeting with President Trump would take place in the near future in order to move the denuclearization process along quickly," said Moon.

But Revere stressed that the United States should tell "wish" from "promise", as US intelligence departments have collected information indicating that North Korea was covering up some facilities used to store nuclear weapons.

North Korea did not act like a country that really wants to drop nuclear weapons, said Revere, adding that the United States should not depend on China to achieve its goals on the Korean Peninsula.


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