Throughout months of heightening tensions between Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime and a U.S. led group of nations intent on seeing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the cost of peace for the North Korean people has been clear: the complete removal of Kim’s nuclear capabilities. Now, however, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said that he no longer believes that rapid denuclearization is possible due to the level of advancement Kim’s weapons program has achieved in the past year.
“If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage,” Moon said in a briefing released by South Korea’s Blue House.
“If so, North Korea’s nuclear program should be suspended, and negotiations could go on to pursue complete denuclearization.”
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions predate Kim Jong Un’s leadership, but it wasn’t until just recently that the nation has begun making rapid advancements in their nuclear capabilities. A series of atomic detonation tests culminated in September with what experts believe was almost certainly a hydrogen bomb, which marks a significant leap in destructive power over the first five tests, or anything previously believed to be in Kim’s arsenal.