Yes, North Korea Will Give up Its Nukes and Kim Jong Un Is Crying to Prove It

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses with participants during the 8th Congress of the Korean Children's Union (KCU) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, North Korea June 8, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS

Kim would now likely agree to abandon his nuclear weapons because they are threatening, and not ensuring, the survival of his regime.

For the sake of maintaining its tough image, however, North Korea has not entirely dropped the use of confrontational rhetoric towards America. For example, North Korea’s criticism of White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence for suggesting a “Libyan model” of denuclearization is a case in point. But Trump’s response of scrapping the Singapore summit may have forced Kim to reconsider North Korea’s habitual aggressiveness. According to Daily NK, Kim reportedly criticized his senior officials for using “highly offensive comments” toward the U.S. after the summit was canceled, and ordered that “outdated diplomacy practices be replaced and for creative diplomacy to be practiced” going forward.

Old habits die hard, and North Korea can be expected to relapse into name-calling and show other signs of insincerity on the path towards denuclearization and peace. But Kim’s tears suggest that he has no better way forward if he wishes to secure his rule.

Larry Ong is a senior analyst with SinoInsider Consulting LLC, a consulting and research company based in New York City. He was part of a team that forecasted the key personnel reshuffle at the 19th Party Congress with over 80 percent accuracy and was the first to analyze the naming of Wang Qishan as Chinese vice president. Larry’s writings have appeared in The Diplomat and Real Clear Defense.

Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses with participants during the 8th Congress of the Korean Children's Union (KCU) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, North Korea June 8, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS

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