Here’s my simpleminded take on North Korea:
- Kim Jong Un wanted nuclear weapons for several reasons, but the main one was to make sure North Korea didn’t end up like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
- Now that he’s got them, he feels like he can start to make deals without worrying about being on the business end of American regime change.
- This means that he might well be willing to enter into substantive talks. But he will never give up his nukes.
- Also: he will never give up his nukes.
- And: he will never give up his nukes.
Did I mention that he will never give up his nukes? I did? Well, he won’t.
That’s my guess, anyway. The question is whether (1) the US and South Korea accept that and move forward or (2) continue their sanctions war until (2a) they finally get tired of it or (2b) North Korea becomes a wasteland of famine and revolt. At the moment, my money is on 2a.