September 21, 2020

Wrapping up 2018: the teetering scale of negotiations with North Korea

Pyongyang ends the year with circumstances tipped firmly in its favor

Pedestrian as it may seem, the metaphor of a scale seems apt in broadly depicting this year’s sequence of U.S.-North Korea interactions. On one end of the scale sits Pyongyang; on the other, Washington. The movable fulcrum, of course, is best personified by South Korea.

Throughout the year, we watched this scale of negotiations, diplomacy, and rhetoric slide, teeter, and re-center to find that delicate point of equilibrium for all three parties. But to the dismay of many, sustained equilibrium has proven to be unattainable, in light of the discord between the parties on end goals and intermediary objectives.