Thank you for your analysis of the upcoming summit (“Vietnam pick a win for Trump, Kim” in the Feb. 7 edition). In order to fill out the picture a little more, of U.S. and North Korean contributions to denuclearization and peace ahead of the summit, please allow me to add some details.

Besides having “halted nuclear and missile tests for some 15 months,” the North Koreans have shut down their Punggye-ri nuclear test site, begun to dismantle the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, returned U.S. soldiers’ remains from the Korean War, and removed guard posts and firearms in the DMZ. They have at least five concessions on their list.

On Washington’s list, there is only one concrete step they can point to: They have reduced the scale of the joint military exercises with South Korea.

OK, good. The giant bully is not pulling out his switchblade and waving it near the bullied child’s face as much as before. Fine, but we need more concrete, tension-reducing actions.

It is time for the U.S. to make some substantial concessions. For example, we could end these acts of war called “sanctions,” sign a peace treaty with North Korea, stop all joint military exercises, return to South Korea its full sovereignty and/or stop building the new military base in Okinawa’s Henoko district. Might we even dare to speak of U.S. denuclearization?

Make the Korean Peninsula a nuclear-weapons-free zone, or uphold the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or sign the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or discontinue President Barack Obama’s expensive nuke upgrade.

Isn’t it time for the U.S. — the only state to ever resort to using nuclear weapons — to reduce its stockpile of 6,800 nukes and allow global denuclearization to proceed?


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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