Trump's meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un is back on, I guess, but it may not be their only meeting.
Trump spoke to Reuters during his trip to Texas yesterday evening and said it may take more than one meeting to convince Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons.
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it may take more than one meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to seal a denuclearization deal and that he would like Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program as quickly as possible under any agreement. [...]
“I’d like to see it done in one meeting. But oftentimes that’s not the way deals work,” Trump said.
The Pentagon and CIA have both produced their own reports that say Kim Jong Un is not going to give up his nuclear weapons even if it leads to economic relief because the weapons program and fear of outsiders is key to the survival of the Kim dynasty and has been from the very beginning.
If we assume those reports and the observations of most other experts are correct, we can also assume that Trump's first meeting King Jon Un won't produce substantive change and neither will any future meeting.
Trump himself seemed to downplay the high expectations he has personally set by telling reporters outside White House this afternoon that his meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore will simply be a get-to-know-you meeting.
In other words, it's just a photo op.
Even if you believe the vague assertions that Kim Jong Un is actually willing to give up his nuclear weapons, a new assessment from a panel of experts at Stanford University believe truly denuclearizing North Korea could take as long as 10 years of sustained diplomacy.
Siegfried Hecker, a respected nuclear scientist who has previously traveled to North Korea to inspect its nuclear site, co-authored the roadmap with Robert Carlin, a Korea analyst who spent years at the CIA and State Department, and Elliot Serbin, Hecker's research assistant.
The trio identified 22 specific programs or activities -- such as the country's nuclear weapons stockpile, its missile arsenal or its nuclear reprocessing facilities -- that US negotiators need to address with North Korea. Halting or suspending many of these will likely take less than a year, the authors estimate, but eliminating or setting limits on them will take six to 10 years.
Trump canceled the Iran deal after just two and a half years and it took longer than that to negotiate it.