The situation on the Korean peninsula is now at an inflection point. While all three leaders say they desire additional summits, Kim’s deadline appears to establish an end point for the Trump-Kim bromance. If that is Kim’s intention, now is the time to re-examine the strategic assumptions that inform the pursuit of a peace and disarmament deal by the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Given the risk that negotiations will fall apart, the time from now until the end of the year must be spent preparing a “Plan B” that is based on Kim failing to denuclearize the North.
David Maxwell is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He also contributes to FDD’s Center for Military and Political Power. Follow him on Twitter at@davidmaxwell161. Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD and @FDD_CMPP. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.