Kim Jong-un’s commitment to America’s goal of dismantling North Korea’s decades-old nuclear program remains uncertain amid the looming denuclearization summit between the dictator and U.S. President Donald Trump, experts told lawmakers on Tuesday, echoing some regime defectors.
The expert’s testimony before a Senate foreign relations subcommittee came as the U.S. and North Korea are preparing for a potentially historic summit in Singapore on June 12 during which Trump is expected to demand that Kim take steps towards complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization in exchange for sanctions relief.
Asked whether Kim is committed to dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program, Dr. Victor Cha, a North Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), responded in the negative, adding, “I’m quite skeptical.”
Cha, who is also a fellow in human freedom at the George W. Bush Institute and a professor at Georgetown University, explained:
In my 30 years of studying this issue and the limited time I’ve had in government working on this issue, I am not convinced yet that … he is fully ready to give up his weapons. … [North Korea prefers] to front-load our rewards and push off denuclearization for as long as they possibly can.