U.S. must freeze North Korea’s nuclear program, believe tank states

U.S. should freeze North Korea's nuclear program, think tank says

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SINGAPORE — The U.S. must concentrate on the short-term goal of freezing and topping North Korea’s nuclear program prior to pursuing the larger target of taking apart centers, a senior consultant at a think tank stated today.

That’s since going directly for completion objective of denuclearization did not work, stated Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The first thing you have to do is just accept that this is a runaway program and it needs to be capped and frozen first,” he informed CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday as part of the Milken Institute Asia Summit.

People view a tv news program revealing file video footage of North Korea’s rocket test, at a train station in Seoul on January 1, 2020.

Jung Yeon-je | AFP | Getty Images

North Korea began its nuclear program in the 1950s, according to non-profit company Nuclear Threat Initiative. It has actually been under sanctions by the United Nations Security Council because 2006.

“We attempted to do denuclearization initially, and as an outcome of that, we simply [got] development of nuclear weapons, more tests,” he stated.

After getting an “interim freeze deal” that stops rocket screening and the growth of the nuclear program, Cha stated the U.S. must attempt to “transform the political relationship” in between Washington and Pyongyang.

“Try to end the war, try to create an environment which could be more working together toward a nuclear declaration rather than working against each other,” he stated throughout a panel at the top.

We essentially have actually attempted whatever else … none of these things have actually worked. To return to any of those things would be the meaning of madness, so we need to attempt something various.

Victor Cha

Center for Strategic and International Studies

The 3rd action would be to lower the hazard by codifying a rocket test restriction and fissile product production restriction, Cha stated. The last action would be denuclearization, consisting of the disablement and dismantlement of centers in North Korea, he stated.

“That takes time,” Cha stated. “This is now a huge program compared to what it was in the 1990s, and so we have to deal with it as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

He included that the 4 actions are not brand-new, however have actually not been utilized in this series prior to.

“We basically have tried everything else. We’ve tried summit diplomacy, we’ve tried six party talks, we’ve tried bilateral talks and none of these things have worked,” he stated. “To go back to any of those things would be the definition of insanity, so we have to try something different.”

Cooperation with China, South Korea

Asked what function other nations might play in nudging North Korea towards towards denuclearization, Cha stated it differs.

“China doesn’t share a perfect overlap of interests with the United States when it comes to North Korea,” he stated. Beijing might press Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table, however is not likely to require that it quits its weapons.

“I really don’t think China cares about whether there’s a nuclear North Korea, as long as there’s not a crisis on the Korean peninsula – that’s the main thing that they care about,” he stated.

South Korea’s federal government, nevertheless, is “very interested” in inter-Korean financial engagement.

“They would be willing partners in an effort to try to get these interim steps towards denuclearization, and be willing to provide incentives to bring North Korea along the way,” Cha stated.

— CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee added to this report.

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