South Korea war games may overlap with April's Kim-Moon summit

Kim Jung-un

The prospect of a possible breakthrough summit between Washington and Pyongyang has left Tokyo jittery that U.S. President Donald Trump, under his banner of "America First", may settle for a major policy compromise that prioritizes U.S. homeland security while disregarding allied Japan's vulnerability to North Korean missiles, experts said Wednesday.

This line of dialogue, of course, marks a significant departure from years of nuclear rhetoric from Kim's regime.

Sounds good, right? After all, Kim has placed nukes at the core of his authoritarian rule over 25 million North Koreans and vowed not to abandon them at any cost.

Kim made the offer during a meeting with Moon's special envoy in Pyongyang, and NPR's Elise Hu reports that the surprise change in position includes a promise to temporarily suspend nuclear and missile tests while negotiations were underway.

"Just because there are talks ongoing between North and South Korea doesn't mean global sanctions can be eased", he said.

"One of the biggest fears of Tokyo is that the US administration will embark on the talks with Kim under the spirit of "America First" and accept a major compromise that only removes its own fears, i.e. ICBM development", said Atsuhito Isozaki, an associate professor and a North Korea expert at Keio University. A significant uptick in defection from North Korea's military has seemingly demonstrated worsening condition for Kim's troops, and an influx of North Korean fishermen and boats washing up on Japanese shores would seem to indicate that food shortages within the reclusive state have pushed the populous to take increasingly unsafe chances in pursuit of a better catch.

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The denuclearization dialogue also involves the two Koreas and the United States.

"The statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive". The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. Failing that, he can now play the role of embattled leader simply trying to hold of the tide of foreign aggression.

"The sanctions and pressure on North Korea aren't maintained by South Korea alone - these are actions based on U.N. Security Council resolutions, and then there are strong unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States", Moon said, added that the pressure on the North could only be reduced by "substantive progress" on denuclearization.

"In addition, the North promised not to use not only nuclear weapons but also conventional weapons against the South", he added.

Kimura also said it is possible that prior to Kim's meeting with the South Korean delegation, Washington and Seoul had secretly discussed its details while purposely keeping Japan out of the loop.

At first glance it seems like a blockbuster: North Korea has reportedly offered up its nukes for negotiation, an abrupt reversal from its repeated vows never to relinquish the "treasured sword" it sees as protection against constant USA "hostility". For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. "May be false hope, but the ready to go hard in either direction!"

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