Time Is Running Out For Trump’s North Korea Diplomacy

Year's end an artificial deadline, but lack of progress is causing problems

North Korea has said the US has until the end of the year to come up with a new proposal to revive stalled diplomatic engagement between the two nations. US officials have similarly warned North Korea that time is running out, albeit without specific deadlines.

As a practical matter, these deadlines are all artificial and arbitrary, and the nations could engage whenever they want to. At the same time, many months have gone by without any progress, and the process is plainly growing stale for it.

It isn’t even that there are a slew of disagreements holding things up. Rather, there is a very specific issue: North Korea wants something in return for denuclearization, and the US just keeps demanding they denuclearize unconditionally, with hints they might get something in return eventually.

This had led to months of reiterating this position, boiling down to North Korea saying the US needs to offer a new approach, and no sign the US is even considering anything of the sort.

Again, the US could come forward with a proposal at any time, but the longer they ignore this one straightforward obstacle, the more it gives the appearance that the administration is content to let North Korea talks die on the vine, or would rather do that than make any concessions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.