Satellite images of what appears to be a North Korean rocket assembly facility near Pyongyang have surfaced recently.
In addition, a 400-page document released by the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea said that Pyongyang had also tried to sell weapons in the Middle East and hacked banks across the world.
Clearly trouble in North Korea continues, despite President Donald Trump’s two meetings with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
What these recent revolutions show is that it continues to be more important than ever for the U.S. and Trump to take Kim seriously and work toward a solution that will eventually bring peace.
To achieve that eventual deal, “sometimes you just have to walk away,” Trump said about the most recent summit meeting between Kim and himself in Vietnam.
Many people speculated that Trump would be so desperate to make a deal that he would give up too much. That is not what happened.
While accounts of the meeting are conflicting, Trump said the talks collapsed because North Korea insisted that all sanctions on Pyongyang be lifted without firmly committing to eliminate its nuclear weapons.
Trump’s recent meeting is similar to when President Ronald Reagan walked away from a disarmament negotiation with the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev after he made what were unacceptable demands at a 1986 summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Despite no agreement being made then, that meeting did lead to the U.S. and Soviet Union signing a treaty the following year that eventually led to the peace we have today.
It is vital that the United States and North Korea come to some terms of agreement, but as Trump said going into the Vietnam meeting with Kim, “There’s no rush. We just want to do the right deal.”
Both the meeting in Vietnam and the preceding summit in Singapore were historic. The 2018 Singapore summit was the first time a sitting U.S. president had met with the leader of North Korea.
The threat North Korea poses is real. But the meeting in Vietnam should not be looked at as a failure. Instead, it should be looked at as a step forward toward an eventual solution.