Analyst: U.S.-North Korea relations go beyond warhead count

Policy Analyst James McKeon spoke with UPI about what North Korea’s promise to denuclearize means, realistically.

Not only does North Korea’s authoritarian regime have time to spare, any approach to “complete denuclearization” would be protracted, which makes the process challenging, says James McKeon, a policy analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington.

“It’s extremely unlikely in the near term that North Korea would identify facilities we don’t know about and actually come to completely verifiable irreversible disarmament,” McKeon told UPI, adding facilities in North Korea created to enrich uranium and make weapons-grade plutonium complicate the picture.

Estimates of a nuclear timetable have ranged from two years to as much as 15.

“This is an unprecedented effort. Making estimates for how long it’s going to take is difficult. But it’s going to take years, absolutely no doubt. You’re talking about dismantling an entire nuclear infrastructure,” McKeon said. Read more