22:58 GMT +321 August 2019
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    In this Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 photo, fireworks explode after civilians and military personnel participated in a mass rally in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, to mark their country’s sixth underground nuclear test

    North Korea Won't Hasten to Get Rid of Nukes as It's Their Main Trump Card - Scholar

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    US President Donald Trump visited the DMZ and briefly entered North Korea on Sunday to hold a historic meeting with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-un, reviving hopes of denuclearisation of the peninsula. Tom Harper, Doctoral Researcher in Politics, University of Surrey, has shared his view on the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

    Sputnik: Today, on the back of Trump and Kim's most recent meeting at the DMZ, North Korea has hailed the talks as historic - but just how effective will they be in creating future dialogues?

    Tom Harper: I think there's always a potential for future ones, but bear in mind I think whilst these moves, are a vague symbolic one, I think what sort of struck me as even the most optimistic estimates to say so not that much is going to change. I think we have to see it as a more long term, ongoing process, rather than just sort of the be all and end all.

    Sputnik: Is North Korea any more likely to denuclearise on the back of this meeting?

    Tom Harper: The big thing is the two big issues are nukes and sanctions interconnect. On the one hand, it's the US that wants North Korea to give up its nukes to support sanction relief at the same time, North Korea wants the sanction relief first, and then it will consider denuclearisation.

    I think, for now, they're not going to be very reluctant to get rid of the nuclear card because that's really their main trump card to play. So I guess that's the best leverage they have.

    Sputnik: Could these developments on the Korean Peninsula see members from the international community such as the UK and Russia being involved in future talks and discussions?

    Tom Harper: As I said, I think that probably as I said before in previous interviews, the biggest take away from that it has encouraged further powers to pursue their own programme based on the reaction to North Korea. So that would be my take on it.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Tom Harper and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    denuclearization, Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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