By DEVON ST. CLAIRE
President Donald Trump’s State Department has worked out a plan for peace with Pyongyang despite months of fiery rhetoric about totally destroying Nor Korea. On a recent trip to South Korea, Trump said, “It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world,” Trump has a more optimistic and diplomatic tone than before.
On October 30th Joseph Yun, the State Department’s top North Korea official, told the Council on Foreign Relations that the US would resume direct dialogue with Pyongyang if it ceased missile tests for 60 days. Even though it was near the 60-day mark, the most recent missile launched on September 15 will not count, since North Korea had not previously agreed on a 60-day pause. But North Korea could easily meet the two-month limit and may have already been planning to.
The 60-day freeze is only a prerequisite for talks, however it isn’t all that’s needed for peace. North Korea and the US hold totally opposite goals and views of how the talks should play out. Therefore, nothing guarantees that talks will turn into peace. However, communication is key in all successful relationships so there is hope. Just as the US does with China, Russia, India, and others, North Korea wants the US to accept it as a legitimate nuclear-weapons state. And North Korea needs to give up its nuclear weapons entirely for the US to be content.
Unless they actually talk, neither side can find out where the other would make concessions. Today, the US and North Korea have no formal relations and talk through a diplomatic back channel. Kim and Trump exchanged nuclear threats over the summer causing record-high tensions but formal meetings between officials is of utmost importance and could definitely diffuse the tension.
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