James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
The Kim-Trump Summit Is Set. What Can We Expect ?
CNS-NTI graphic shows DPRK capabilities as of February 2018
(click to enlarge)

May 10, 2018:  The meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been set for June 12 in Singapore. 

What can we expect from this historic summit? What effects will negotiations have on inter-Korea peace, or for the US-South Korea alliance? Is a "denuclearized" North Korea really in the cards? And if so, what does that even mean

Perhaps most importantly: if talks fail-- or if the results are misconstrued by either side-- the price of failure could be war. 

The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey offers expert analysis and leading insight into the political, diplomatic, historical, and technical aspects of the historic talks.

" Although representatives in both capitals speak about the goal of denuclearization, almost certainly they have different end-states in mind," said  CNS Director Dr. William C. Potter, one of the world's leading experts on diplomacy and negotiation in arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. "One of the largest risks of the summit is that false expectations about what can be accomplished will lead to outrage by one or both sides, a recipe for the end of diplomacy and the resort to military action." 

"While chances for a breakthrough at the summit steadily increase, the risks associated with possible failure increase as well," said  Dr. Nikolai Sokov , CNS Senior Fellow and former Soviet/Russia negotiator on arms control, "The main risk is the absence of a stable status quo to which the parties could return in case the summit fails. Since there was no sustained dialogue prior to the recent crisis, the consequence now is between a mutually acceptable agreement and a significant worsening of the relationship, even an increased chance for military conflict. The uncertain future of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, the JCPOA, is likely to negatively affect the probablility of success as well." 

For further commentary as the negotiations take shape, contact us. Our facilities at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey are well equipped for television and radio broadcast, and we offer a range of B-roll, graphics, and other content for print and online publications.

R ecent analysis
  • Jeffrey Lewis in the New York Times on the fuzzy term "denuclearization," and how it may be the key to avoiding nuclear war.
  • Bloomberg turned to diplomacy expert Nikolai Sokov to learn which Cold War lessons could be applied to DPRK-US negotiations.
  • North Korea fails to even mention the nuclear issue in their summary of the March meeting with China's Xi Jinping, as pointed out in CNBC by Joshua H. Pollack
  • Earlier, Pollack explained in the NY Daily News how the summit came to fruition.
  • In the Washington Post, Jeffrey Lewis lays out what Kim wants out of a summit, and what some in the United States fear Trump will give him.
  • Lewis's initial Foreign Policy post explains that Trump's agreeing to the meeting was the concession that Kim sought. 
BrollTechnical insight and visuals

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