U.S. negotiators, under the new Biden administration, could be faced with making a decision between pursuing gradual or seeking complete denuclearization in North Korea.
According to the latest Congressional Research Service report on diplomacy with North Korea, the 'incremental dismantlement' of the North's nuclear program would be followed by gradual relief from sanctions.
Whereas, 'a big deal', demanding complete denuclearization,… would result in the full removal of sanctions on North Korea.
Given that President Biden and his top aides prefer a bottom-up, step-by-step approach,… watchers say the new administration is likely to seek progressive changes in the denuclearization program.
However, the report says it is still unsure whether the United States would agree to the idea of partial denuclearization.
Previously, former U.S. president, Donald Trump,… was more committed to demanding a complete dismantlement of the regime's nuclear program.
However, talks stalled,… as Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to find middle ground in their second summit in Hanoi in 2019.
In addition, the report stated that military capabilities in Pyeongyang have, in fact, been enhanced,… despite personal diplomacy easing tensions between the countries.
The report also noted complexity regarding sanctions on the regime,… further complicated by issues dealing with human rights, international terrorism and the illegal weapons trade.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.