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N. Korea asks for U.S. to remove military threats on the peninsula in exchange for complete denuke: Experts Updated: 2019-04-26 19:20:31 KST

President Putin's press conference after his banquet with Kim Jong-un on Thursday, shows a shift in what North Korea is asking for from the U.S.

"The North Korean administration wants to denuclearize as well. But it's asking for its safety to be guaranteed."

Until the Hanoi summit, what North Korea had asked for in exchange for the Yeongbyeon nuclear facility was partial sanctions relief.
After Hanoi fell apart, the North's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, explained at a surprise press conference that they had thought it'd be too much to ask the U.S. for a security guarantee and for military measures.

But in view of the current standstill and Washington's push for a big deal, where all nuclear weapons, missiles and even weapons of mass destruction are brought to the table, the North, according to experts, had little choice but to counter the request.

"For Washington, denuclearization means Pyeongyang gets rid of all its weapons. It's only natural that the North would reciprocate and ask the U.S. to remove all the threats it poses to the regime, which include the nuclear umbrella over the peninsula, strategic assets and even U.S. troops in the South."

And unfortunately, this means the negotiations have gotten tougher.

"What could've been easily solved by lifting one or two sanctions or declaring an end to the Korean War has become more complicated because the U.S. naively thought the North would cave in to the sanctions. These military measures the North is asking for are not something Washington can accept."

Experts say what the North is arguing is that a denuclearization deal can never be reached if the U.S. continues to ask for a deal of such great scope.
So, the two should take a step by step approach, exchanging denuclearization steps and maybe partial sanctions relief to start building trust first.

And once that starts happening, the experts say, is when Putin suggests holding the 6-party talks, to give the North a guarantee from the world of its security.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
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