North Korea’s Kim Wants Security Guarantees, Not Sanctions Relief

Talk of nuclear freeze may not require sanctions relief

The struggle between North Korea not wanting to continue down the denuclearization path without getting anything in return and the Trump Administration being bound and determined not to give them any sanctions relief may be starting to come into focus on a compromise.

According to diplomatic sources familiar with the ongoing efforts to broker a North Korean nuclear freeze for something, Kim Jong Un has told officials that he prefers to get security guarantees instead of sanctions relief.

While this would spare Trump from having to sell sanctions relief that he’s long promised not to offer, it’s not clear what security guarantees would actually look like, as the US probably isn’t any more willing to offer a proper peace treaty or non-aggression pact.

Still, a less public but still enforceable guarantee of some sort would be a potential cure-all for this, giving North Korea an assurance that the US isn’t going to suddenly attack them mid-way through denuclearization, and getting some sort of reward for freezing their nuclear production.

While this could be complicated, it is also attainable in a way previous nuclear deal efforts weren’t, and could be sold by both nations as a win. That makes it a very encouraging sign.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of