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Don't Expect North Korea to Give Up Its Nuclear 'Sword of Justice'

Nuclear Missile
Nuclear Missile

North Korea's government has referred to their nuclear weapons as a "treasured sword of justice" serving as deterrent to any potential attack from the United States.

As president Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korea's dictator Kim Jong, some experts says it is highly unlikely the communist regime will suddenly give up their nuclear weapons in exchange for peace.

"If you look at history, this happens time and time again," said Gary Lane, CBN's chief international correspondent. "The Kim's will negotiate and then the West will lift the sanctions, we'll come back and give them money, and then after a period of time they start testing {missiles} again."

Lane says the international community has tried for decades to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program with no success. The last two times the North said it would give them up, it didn't.

"I don't think they are going to give it up because they've always feared that the United States and the West want a reunification of the Korean peninsula, but on the West's terms," Lane said.

Still, North Korea's leader told China's president this week during a surprise visit to Beijing that his nation is committed to eventual "denuclearization" on the Korean Peninsula.

"The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace," Kim said.

Carl Minzner, a professor of law at Fordham University believes China's president Xi met with Un to understand the North Korean leader's thinking in advance of upcoming talks with Donald Trump.

"Kim is certainly interested in making sure his relations with China are solid in advance of the upcoming potential meeting with Trump," Minzner told CBN's Gary Lane.

Minzner is author of the book, End of an Era: How China's Authoritarian Revival is Undermining Its Rise.

Watch Gary Lane's Where in The World interview for more insights

Kim's sudden pivot from conducting a series of nuclear and missile tests in recent months to an international charm offensive has the White House in an unusually optimistic mood regarding the crisis in the region.

"We're going to be cautiously optimistic but we feel like things are moving in the right direction," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday.

Following Kim Jong Un's meeting with China's president Xi Jinping, President Trump said there's "a good chance" that the North Korean leader will take steps to peace.

"For years and through many administrations, everyone said that peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was not even a small possibility," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity."

But skepticism of Kim's intentions abound.

"If there is hope for a good deal, the way to get there is to show North Korea that it cannot manipulate the diplomatic process as it has done so many times before," said David Adesnik with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "The U.S. should drive forward its maximum pressure campaign until Kim begins taking verifiable steps to dismantle his nuclear program."

"To let up sooner would reward North Korea simply for talking," Adesnik added.

A sentiment echoed by a former top South Korea official who is warning the international community not to fall into a familiar "trap" of making deals without getting anything in return from the regime.

"Instead of wishful thinking, we should tread very cautiously," said Yun Byung-se, South Korea's ex-foreign minister. "At least we should seek some kind of pledges from Kim Jong-un about his intention to translate his rhetoric into actions."

Yun says while the recent peace overtures are welcome news, he warns that the US must remain firm in any future dealings with the North.

He and other North Korea watchers say this is after all a ruthless regime that is deeply obsessed with its own survival and will do very little to jeopardize it.

"North Korea doesn't trust anyone else with their security," said Michael Kovrig with the International Crisis Group. "No one else is willing, in any case, to give them that security guarantee, so they feel they need nuclear weapons."

North and South Korea have agreed to hold historic bilateral talks next month, ahead of president Trump's meeting with the North Korean dictator scheduled for May.


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