Loading...
Bless the heart of the county commissioners, I think we all will come knocking on your doors when we receive our new...

More progress to be made on North Korea

US NKorea-1

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, walk from a photo opportunity at the The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, on Jan. 18.

Loading…

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

President Trump remains bullish that the North Korea nuclear threat can be contained. Speaking to reporters on Jan. 19, the president praised the “incredible meeting” he had the day before with a top representative of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, trumpeting the “tremendous progress” the two sides had made.

The optimistic view is that the White House meeting with Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean intelligence chief and now his government’s lead nuclear negotiator, was indeed productive, and Trump is on his way to resolving one of the world’s most complex and dangerous nuclear weapons problems.

But a path to that outcome isn’t yet visible to the outside world. North Korea has forgone nuclear tests, missile tests and rhetorical attacks for more than 400 days. That’s an important development. At the same time, however, it continues to produce nuclear fuel, weapons and missiles. It has not denuclearized, as Trump has demanded.

So, as the two leaders prepare for their second summit (reportedly next month in Vietnam), the pressure is on the Trump administration to articulate a realistic strategy for achieving a mutually agreed upon outcome.

No such strategy was evident last June when Trump broke with decades of foreign policy precedent by meeting directly with Kim in Singapore, in the first summit between American and North Korean leaders. Trump deserves credit for opening up this dialogue, but it has, so far, yielded few tangible results.

After that meeting, Trump declared that North Korea, which possesses 20 to 60 nuclear weapons, the missiles to deliver them and the facilities to make even more, was “no longer a nuclear threat.” Saying so didn’t make it so.

The one concrete product of the Singapore meeting, a concluding statement, was so poorly drafted that it laid the groundwork for months of stalemate. It committed the two leaders to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” without even defining “denuclearization,” let alone explicitly agreeing on the sequence of actions to be taken.

A new report this week about a previously secret North Korean missile base at Sino-ri, 132 miles (212 kilometers) north of the Demilitarized Zone, is a reminder of how sprawling and hidden the country’s nuclear program is and how challenging any sort of outside inspections regime might be to carry out.

Publicly, the two sides still hew to staunch positions: The Trump administration insists that tough sanctions will stay in place until North Korea completely gives up its nuclear arsenal. North Korean officials insist on sanctions relief early in the process.

But small signs of movement led to plans for the second summit. Trump backed off his insistence on immediate disarmament, and his administration recently eased travel restrictions so American aid workers and humanitarian supplies could once again enter the impoverished country.

Kim’s annual New Year’s Day speech presented a somewhat more positive view of United States-North Korea relations, an encouraging sign.

Even if complete denuclearization is not possible, negotiators should at least seek a permanent end to testing and the production of fissile material.

The New York Times

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

June 10, 2019

As the election results became clear in 2016, financial markets rose amid a surge of economic optimism. That surge continued for two years as Donald Trump and Republicans pursued a pro-growth agenda of tax reform, deregulation and encouraging domestic energy production. But with Democrats now…

June 08, 2019

Keith Cox served the residents of Virginia Beach in the public utilities department for 12 years.

Well-liked by co-workers, he spent his final moments on Friday working to protect them from a gunman in the municipal center — sacrificing his life in the process.

The remembrance of Cox,…

APTOPIX Virginia Beach Shooting-6

June 04, 2019

Give Harry Smith credit for being willing to do his homework and change his mind.

Smith, the usually outspoken and politically conservative chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, emerged from a recent board meeting and told reporters that his thinking about what to do…

Confederate Monuments-5

June 03, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence came to Charlotte this week for a 2020 Republican National Convention kickoff event. The visit was a reminder of the discomfort many feel in this progressive city about the 2020 RNC — an uneasiness so deep that Mayor Vi Lyles said last summer that she wouldn’t…

RNC Charlotte 2020-4

June 01, 2019

A state budget is a spending plan, but the proposal the state Senate’s Republican majority presented Tuesday is better described as an anti-spending plan. It is an unalloyed version of Senate leader Phil Berger’s iron-rule of government: Cut taxes and spend the absolute minimum. If…

State Of The State North Carolina-3

May 28, 2019

Around the turn of the last century, the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie paid to build 1,689 libraries across the United States. Many are still in use, celebrated as monumental works of philanthropy.

They should be seen as monuments to the failure of public policy. The United States could have built…

May 27, 2019

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community — or perhaps anyone who has lived in North Carolina the past decade — you were probably surprised to learn that Thom Tillis is a “pro-LGBTQ Republican.”

It’s true, according to the American Unity Fund, a conservative gay…

Border Security Tillis-2

May 25, 2019

Want to understand how the tariffs on China work? Don’t take President Donald Trump’s word for it.

Here’s what he’s had to say. We’ll follow with why he’s wrong, who really pays and who really suffers (hint, it’s not China or Trump).

First, from…

China Trade-2

May 21, 2019

Our planet is on life support.

That’s the dire message from a landmark United Nations report that found one million species of plants and animals — out of a total of eight million — are at risk of extinction as the result of human actions.

It’s a message the world dare not…

Trump Giraffes Endangered

May 20, 2019

Kim Strach, the executive director of the state Board of Elections, was doing a good job before she got fired Monday. She’d helped guide the board through the minefield of the 9th Congressional District election fraud scandal. She’d offered strong suggestions to lawmakers about…

Election 2018 North Carolina-6
49 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 5
        Next Page»   Last Page»