Sputnik spoke to Dr Matteo Fumagalli, a Senior Lecturer of International Relations from the University of St Andrews to find out of the US’ demands are at all realistic.
Sputnik: Of course the North Korean leadership has long maintained that any unilateral demands by the US for denuclearization are a kind of non-starter, is it possible that the US’ position as revealed by this state department announcement could deal a blow to the Trump-Kim summit for June the 12th?
Matteo Fumagalli: Well if this is the premise then definitely the risk of failure is heightened. It’s not too complicated for North Korea to outline a plan; the question is, whether the timeframe that is necessary for North Korea to denuclearise. Is that the root we’re going down, or will it match with the expectations coming out of Washington? Realistically in terms of what is technically feasible, a six month time frame, which seems to be the request coming out of the United States, is not realistic. It would take years. Decades in fact.
Matteo Fumagalli: Well if we are to take the promises made by president Trump during the campaign seriously, then it is not impossible to envisage a future, a not too distant future, where the United States may withdraw troops from the Korean peninsula. Now that could be a realistic scenario. That said, one thing is to remove the troops from the Korean peninsula and quite a different thing is to remove the nuclear umbrella. You don’t need American troops on the Korean Peninsula, you just need to keep them somewhere in the Pacific, in Japan, and that’s already a sticking point, so I don’t think that would be a realistic demand on the North Korean side to expect that the US would just vanish from the Pacific.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.