North Korea: Kim Says He'll Talk

North Korea: Kim Says He'll Talk

As we were about to hit send here, news broke that North Korea says it’s ready to discuss full denuclearization, directly with the United States, in exchange for guarantees of its security. The statement comes via the South Koreans, who have just wrapped up two days of talks with their North Korean counterparts in Pyongyang.


Whether this is a sincere desire on Kim’s part to come to the table, or a tactic to stall for time while his scientists race towards a more capable nuclear weapon, is one question. Another question is what kinds of security guarantees would satisfy the North Korean leader, whose country has technically been at war with the US and South Korea for the last 70 years. Surely he will consider the examples of Libya, where Muammar Qaddafi gave up WMDs in 2003 only to be killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, and Ukraine, which agreed to surrender its nuclear weapons for security guarantees in 1994, only to be invaded 20 years later by one of the guarantors.

And of course, even if the thorny problems of how to sequence sanctions relief, denuclearization and security guarantees could be reached, compliance with denuclearization hasn’t been North Korea’s strong suit over the years.

All of that said, the mere fact that North Korea is willing to talk on these terms is by itself a breakthrough — so on this Tuesday morning, the ball is now in Washington’s court.

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Listen: Soumya Swaminathan calls for a massive increase in the global vaccine supply in order to prevent the rise of more dangerous and vaccine-evading super-variants, in a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. Dr. Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, argues that vaccine nationalism, where countries prioritize their own citizens ahead of the rest of the world, will only prolong the pandemic because a virus does not stop at any national border. She also weighs in on a controversial new WHO report investigating the origins of COVID-19 and discusses when she thinks the world's children should get vaccinated. In addition, she suggests we may see alternative vaccine forms, like nasal sprays, sooner than we think.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

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