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Former U.S. nuke envoy says N. Korea, U.S. should reach an 'interim deal' to move towards 3rd summit Updated: 2019-10-18 16:44:02 KST


In an interview with Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, Joseph Yun, former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, said U.S. President Donald Trump won't be having a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unless there's an agreement beforehand.
Yun said there needs to be a mid-way deal, where Pyeongyang does more than just dismantle its nuclear facilities at Yeongbyeon.
In addition to the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, the former diplomat said the North should offer a roadmap that lays out detailed steps to complete denuclearization.
In return for these, Washington should provide some sanctions relief -- for example, by allowing some coal exports or some North Korean workers to earn currency overseas.
Yoon said some good additions could also be a declaration of the end of the war and an exchange of liaison offices.
He thinks a third summit between Kim and Trump is possible within the next six months because Trump would want to reach a deal with North Korea a year before the next election, and North Korea has said it expects a new calculation from Washington by the end of the year.
He added, like John Bolton, he believes North Korea won't denuclearize in the near future.
But forcefully taking nuclear weapons out of the regime would trigger a war and therefore there has to be a step-by-step process that builds trust along the way.

Meanwhile, it appears the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which the North showed the world last year as it was being blown up, is still potentially useable.
According to the U.S. thinktank CSIS, the North is not currently working to to restore the nuclear test portals, but the facility is not permanently disabled and the damage done to them is not necessarily irreversible.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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