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A Practical Approach to North Korean Denuclearization

A deal to eliminate all North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities, in exchange for the removal of all sanctions, isn’t immediately realistic. A more practical approach would offer Kim Jong-un's regime partial sanctions relief and inter-Korean economic cooperation in exchange for concrete, verifiable steps toward denuclearization.

SEOUL – The path to peace on the Korean Peninsula remains as perilous as ever. After a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi in February produced no agreement, tensions have escalated, raising – yet again – concerns about a military confrontation.

The international community’s longstanding formula for dealing with North Korea combines harsh sanctions with intermittent negotiations focused on securing the country’s “complete denuclearization.” Multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions block North Korea from engaging in virtually any foreign trade. It cannot export coal, iron, or other minerals, and its imports of crude oil are severely restricted. Various targeted financial sanctions are also in place.

The United States augments these measures with sanctions of its own, targeting, in particular, foreign financial institutions with any connection to North Korea-linked activities. The US also refuses entry to any aircraft or ship that has been in North Korea in the last 180 days.

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  1. asoros3_Emanuele CremaschiGetty Images_italycoronavirusnurse Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

    The Spirit of Milan

    Alex Soros

    The COVID-19 crisis has given the European Union an opportunity to honor its high-flown talk of values and rights, and assert itself as a global leader. To seize it, the EU and its member states must demonstrate much greater solidarity, not least toward Italy, than they have so far.

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