Despite President Donald Trump’s declaration that the nuclear threat from North Korea is no more, a classified report from Israel's foreign ministry indicates his celebration is premature and the road to denuclearization – if Kim Jong-un truly intends to travel it – will be long and slow.
Axios reported Thursday that an initial analysis by the Israeli foreign ministry reveals the U.S. left this week’s negotiations with North Korea having secured a vague agreement with “substantive gaps”:
The summit left many question marks. There are substantive gaps between U.S. policy statements before the summit on the need for "full, irreversible and verifiable" denuclearization and the joint statement signed at the end of the summit, which only referred to "complete denuclearization."
Trump's readiness to accept Kim's demand to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea is a retreat by the U.S. and an acceptance of China's "freeze-for-freeze" approach. The Israeli foreign ministry analysts note that the U.S. had previously rejected the Chinese position.
The Israeli report downplays positive messaging flowing from Trump and administration officials, saying its “assessment is that regardless of President Trump's statements about quick changes that are expected in North Korean policy, the road the real and substantive change, if it ever happens, will be long and slow."