In a statement that directly clarifies North Korea’s position on the denuclearization process,
the nation has said they will not dismantle their own nuclear weapons
program unless the US also removes military threats, and particularly
nuclear threats, from the immediate vicinity.
This makes sense in the context in which the agreement was reached. North Korea built their nuclear arsenal as a deterrent against US threats to attack them, and said they wouldn’t need a deterrent if a deal was made that eliminated the threat of attack.
Between that and North Korea constantly saying the denuclearization deal covered the whole Korean Peninsula, it was meant that the US would be dialing back its offensive capabilities in the area, and removing the nuclear threat from the surrounding area.
Yet the US saw the agreement as North Korea capitulating, and has since presented any US measures as only coming after the fact. Easing the need for deterrence, however, clearly needed to come alongside the denuclearization, something which has informed the success of the two Koreas’ talks, and seems to be driving the failure of US-North Korea talks.
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