When it comes to North Korea, don’t trust, just verify

For once, Hillary Clinton is right on target. Her warning about negotiations over North Korea’s weapons buildup is absolutely correct.

Clinton, during a visit to Australia last week, said U.S. officials should make no concessions to the North Korean regime without seeing concrete action from Pyongyang.

She should know. Most of the progress made by North Korea in developing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons came while she was secretary of state under then-President Barack Obama. And while her husband, Bill, was president, he did nothing to prevent the buildup.

So Clinton apparently has learned by bitter experience.

To date, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has done nothing concrete. He claims to have shut down a nuclear research facility that already was on its last legs. He has turned on the charisma in meetings with both U.S. and South Korean officials. And last week, he ordered the release of three Americans who had been held captive by his regime.

But he has done nothing that would indicate he plans to give up his nuclear weapons or long-range missiles. Fortunately, President Donald Trump seems to recognize the lack of real progress toward the goal of lessening North Korea’s threat to peace.

The late Ronald Reagan had a good policy on weapons control talks. “Trust, but verify,” he said.

With North Korea, however, there can be no trust.

COMMENTS