A former American negotiator on Monday cast doubts over the prospect of irreversibly dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Robert Gallucci, who negotiated a 1994 nuclear freeze deal with Pyongyang, aired his reservations ahead of a high-stakes meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month.
The Trump administration has said its goal in the negotiations is the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the regime.
“I don’t see anything as irreversible. I think the use of the word, which is supposed to convey a permanence, is unfortunately misleading,” Gallucci said during a forum hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “As a matter of fact, my most important point on this is that you can never take away from North Korea its latent, recess capability to build nuclear weapons.”