Negotiations between North Korea and the United States in Vietnam on Thursday, February 28, 2019, ended without agreement and earlier than expected.
Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi, the American President acknowledged the challenges and problems of both sides in the Vietnamese talks, saying: “The talks have failed and there are no plans for another meeting of the two leaders at this time. »
The North Korean authorities have repeatedly stated that, from their perspective, nuclear disarmament is the removal of the US nuclear umbrella in East Asia and the lifting of all economic and political sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.
In addition, as is clear from the Trump Declarations, North Korea wants the process of disarming smaller facilities and power plants to begin.
This North Korean approach reflects the fact that Pyongyang does not want to lose its winning ticket, i.e. its intercontinental missiles and nuclear weapons, from the outset.
Many experts believe that the North Korean approach is a realistic one.
“No country disarms when it fights with another country and in particular with a country more powerful than itself,” said Brian Becker, political analyst in the United States, in an interview with RT, adding that what Kim is asking Trump to do is to reach a peace agreement first before embarking on any disarmament.
It seems that the illegal behaviour that the United States has adopted in recent months towards other countries in the world has also affected North Korea’s approach, and the Americans themselves have acknowledged this fact.
Tulsi Gabbard, one of the first US Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 presidential election, wrote in a message on social networks: “The US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement and the INF undermines attempts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. »
American and North Korean version
In addition, a senior US State Department official said on Friday that Donald Trump asked Kim Jong One to put “everything” on the table in Hanoi, but the discussions failed because of differences on “denuclearization” and sanctions.
Under cover of anonymity, this senior American official said that the North Koreans had demanded “several billion dollars in the form of easing the economic sanctions” imposed on Pyongyang because of its banned nuclear and ballistic programmes, but that they “did not want to impose a total freeze on their weapons of mass destruction programmes”.
Lifting the sanctions “would have de facto put us in the position of subsidizing the ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea,” he continued. “The weapons themselves must be on the table.”
“In his discussions, the president challenged the North Koreans to think bigger. The President encouraged President Kim to bet everything. And we were also ready to bet everything,” added the manager.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called journalists representing a handful of countries to a nightly press conference in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday evening to deliver Pyongyang’s version that the North had only requested a partial lifting of sanctions.
Pyongyang has made a “realistic proposal” in exchange for “permanently closing and completely dismantling all its nuclear production infrastructure in the Yongbyon area in the presence of American experts,” according to the minister.
However, the American official said, the very definition of the perimeter of Yongbyon, a huge complex that contains “more than 300 different infrastructures”, was a problem. “What the North Koreans have proposed to us is to close part of the Yongbyon complex.
The other contentious issue was once again the meaning of the term “denuclearization”.
Washington wants to see the North completely abandon its nuclear arsenal, but for Pyongyang “denuclearization” is understood more broadly.
The North wants the sanctions lifted and an end to what it perceives as American threats, namely a military presence in South Korea and the region in general.