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In this Foreign Policy article, NSWG member James Acton explores alternative interpretations of the key word “denuclearization,” citing NSWG member Vipin Narang. Narang argues that Kim might be referring to an eventual global denuclearization, rather than a unilateral North Korean one. Acton also focuses on the future of the US-South Korean alliance in light of recent developments.

“I spent my all-too-brief vacation last August trying — and failing — to ignore the rising tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Even margaritas and spy fiction could not take my mind off the small but real possibility that their war of words might become a real war that would have the potential to turn nuclear.

Eight months later, following North Korea’s declaration of a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests and a face-to-face meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, even I am tempted to dismiss my earlier concerns as those of a nuclear neurotic too quick to see the shadow of global cataclysm behind every diplomatic spat. And yet, even if the risk of a conflict in the short term has receded significantly, diplomacy with North Korea is likely to fall apart over the coming months unless either Seoul or Washington significantly redefines its interests — leaving us back with the same fears that haunted my summer.”

Read the full article here.