September 23, 2020

The stage is set: North Korea and the U.S. appear finally willing to make a deal

A nuclear freeze agreement, while far from perfect, would represent welcome progress

This author spent the last week in Washington DC, and one thing now seems clear: a deal with North Korea is, at last, in the works. Working-level talks are about to begin, and its participants (as well as their bosses) are optimistic about success and certain that in the near future they will be able to forge a compromise on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Outside observers do not necessarily share the diplomats’ enthusiasm: many obstacles remain, they say, and a deal, while clearly possible, is by no means a sure thing. But even the skeptics believe that this time success is likely, not least because in both the United States and North Korea, the top leaders have valid domestic reasons to forge an agreement.