SEOUL – Negotiations over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula look set to resume. Sadly, they are unlikely to end soon. Talk of a “grand bargain” remains just that – talk.
Trust between North Korea and the United States, South Korea, and Japan is almost non-existent. While all leaders – including North Korea’s Kim Jong Il – remain committed to denuclearization in public, none appears ready to risk much in terms of domestic politics to achieve that end. So the best the world can currently hope for is revived dialogue, an agreement to freeze the North’s Yongbyon nuclear plant, and perhaps a moratorium on further missile and nuclear tests.