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North Korea was revealed to have amassed a shocking arsenal of up to 60 nuclear bombs and a further 20 different types of chemical weapons, according to a US army report this week. They also claimed that a further six nuclear missiles could be developed every year without further restrictions upon the state. Fears about Kim Jong-un’s state continue to concern the US, as they gear up for the 2020 Presidential Election in November. In previous years, during these races and the midterms, the hermit kingdom has conducted more missile tests. The concerns about instability in the nation, which some fear will threaten to spark World War 3, could have been caused by poor negotiations of the past, it has been speculated. Some experts feel that North Korea was let off the hook in previous years during disarmament talks, and that may have led to today’s troublesome situation.
Victor Cha, of The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), felt that the US had been so focussed on keeping North Korea at the negotiation table, that they neglected to ensure key safety measures were put into place.
He claimed that Trump and his administration had been willing to “contort their bodies in all sorts of directions” to avoid momentum being lost during the 2018 Singapore Summit.
Mr Cha criticised the declaration made between him and Kim Jong-un, during the leaders’ first meeting in China, which he blasted on the podcast ‘The Impossible State’.
His comments came after the New York Times revealed that despite hopes for denuclearisation, the nation had continued its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases.
Mr Cha said: “Essentially making arguments that they are allowed to keep these operational bases because they were not specifically agreed to in the Singapore declaration…doesn’t make any sense from a national security perspective.
“I’m sure people in the intelligence community and people working the actual negotiations are concerned about all of these things and want to try to get as expansive a declaration from the North as they can get.
“They have contorted their bodies into different positions to argue why these bases…are not somehow a sign of disingenuousness of North Korea.
“Anyone who has negotiated with the North Koreans – I’ve been one of them – know that they are disingenuous.
“To make arguments… that they are not, shows people are so focussed to get to the next step and essentially give up on anything.”
New York Times Journalist David Sanger felt that the US President had been generous with his description of the talks with North Korea.
He claimed that North Korea had “complied with the agreement” but they had only agreed to “give up one or two facilities” – but left many others undisclosed.
In his 2018 article, he described the move as a “great deception” by the state and argued that the US had pulled out the Iran nuclear deal for lesser offenses to “spirit of the agreement”.
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He said: “The Iranians were complying with the four corners of the agreement as shown on paper – the 2015 agreement.
“But by continuing to launch missiles, by continuing to subsidize terroism and so forth they weren’t living within ‘the spirit of the agreement’.
“So the spirit of the agreement means something in an Inranian context but apparently not in a North Korean context.”
Mr Cha argued that the declaration of only some of the operational ballistic missile bases and not others went against the “definition of denuclearisation” was “ludicrous”.
He added: “Secondly the notion that they may not be deceiving us because they are under no obligation to disclose these bases…is ludicrous.
“There are 10 UN Security Council resolutions, starting with the resolution that bans all ballistic missiles from this country – all of them.
“Not just long range [missiles] but also the short range, so yes, they are certainly under obligation to dismantle these missiles by the standing UN Security Council resolution.
“If they want sanctions released from the UN Security Council then they must indeed disclose and dismantle these facilities.”
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