The high hopes and inflated expectations of U.S. diplomacy with North Korea set by Donald Trump after his summit with Kim Jong Un are quickly coming unraveled.
Trump confidently declared an end to the nuclear threat from North Korea on the heels of the Singapore summit, and has since repeatedly declared that the United States is making progress in its efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
However, many arms control and nuclear experts have warned that the actual substance of the agreement between the United States and North Korea leaves much to be desired. North Korean promises to denuclearize are vague at best and there is no real system in place for verifying the few steps Pyongyang has already taken, such as dismantling an engine test stand and closing its nuclear weapons testing site. While Kim declared a moratorium on ballistic missile and nuclear testing, he has not agreed to give up any missiles or warheads. In fact, in his New Year’s address he explicitly stated, “The nuclear weapons research sector and the rocket industry should mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.”