September 25, 2020

Will Kim Jong Un denuclearize?

Politicians, diplomats, and anyone who holds an interest in Asia Pacific affairs, will have their attention firmly placed on Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, this week. At the time of writing, an historic event is taking place in North Korea, one that has not been witnessed for several decades. The Workers Party of Korea (WPK), the ruling party of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), is holding a crucial party conference. Top of the list of priorities is the election of a future leader, with Kim Jong-Un, expected to take on the baton of leading the ruling party and becoming the supreme leader of North Korea.

The collective who will have most interest in the party conference this week will of course be the U.S.  Policy makers and political strategists will be frantically trying to forecast what the change in leadership will mean in terms of the DPRK’s foreign and nuclear policies.  The U.S and other members of the Six-Party talks will be hoping that a new leadership will provide fresh enthusiasm for denuclearization and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Sources close to North Korea have suggested that this historic meeting will be used to propel the DPRK into a ‘new age’, to set a new precedent for their future, one that the majority hope will culminate in North Korea recommitting to its 2005 agreement on denuclearization and improving relations with Seoul.