Executive Intelligence Review


Former Defense Secretary Perry Believes a North Korean Nuclear Deal Is Possible

July 2, 2018 (EIRNS)—President Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Perry writes today in Politico, “Why I’m Still Hopeful About Trump’s North Korean Deal: And Why It Also Won’t Be Easy.” Though the agreement President Trump and Kim Jong-un signed at the Singapore summit is now just a promise, he writes, “that hope also remains justified.”

Perry says three main points must be recognized now:

  1. “Everything hasn’t suddenly changed in Pyongyang.” Its two primary goals 1) preserving the Kim dynasty and 2) commanding international respect are more secure with nuclear weapons than without them, even if it means economic isolation. Effective diplomacy should convince North Korea that its strategic objectives have better prospects without nuclear weapons.

  2. There are no attractive military options. Any preemptive strike against North Korea would escalate quickly into a broader war, costing millions of lives.

  3. Trump, Kim, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in all deserve credit for creating “a moment of real diplomatic promise”; in 2000, it “curdled into a tragic missed opportunity.” With other countries, the U.S. offered recognition, security assurances of no attack, and economic incentives. But the clock ran out on Clinton’s term in January 2001. “This bargain seemed self-evidently in the interests of the U.S. and its regional allies,” making Perry confident that George W. Bush would finish it. “Instead, he abandoned diplomacy, and, during both the Bush and Obama Administrations, Pyongyang plunged with success into a bomb- and missile-development program that gives North Korea the capacity to kill millions.”

“Denuclearization will take time, and require intensive verification procedures,” but Perry points out that we have negotiated equally difficult agreements with the Soviet Union.

Solving it today, Perry writes, is more difficult because the D.P.R.K. now has nuclear weapons; but is easier because of the cooperation of Asian nations.

One new plus factor is that now, unlike 20 years ago, when North Korea would not treat South Korea as an equal partner, but only as a subsidiary of America, this has dramatically changed with South Korean President Moon, and Kim acknowledged that.

If it succeeds, everyone—Moon, Kim, and Trump would get great credit. Perry does not mention the effective assistance China would give this deal today.