Denuclearization involves the removal of nuclear weapons from a territory. This term has been frequently used this week since North Korean president, Kim Jong Un, announced his intent to suspend further intercontinental ballistic missile tests and shut down its nuclear site. In exchange, he asked for economic and technological assistance as well the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula. For a long time, North Korea’s nuclear program was an issue not only for the Northeast of Asia, but also for the international security. This is why the news was welcomed with excitement, even if there was no mention of a full denuclearization of the country.
The international community had tried for years to find a peaceful solution for North Korea’s nuclear program. In 1985, the country signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), but decided to abandon it in 2003. As a result, five countries, namely USA, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea, started negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program. These negotiations have become known as the Six Party Talks. However, despite the talks, international pressure and sanctions imposed by the UN, North Korea continued to enlarge its nuclear potential. It culminated in 2009 when North Korea withdrew from the Six Party Talks and expelled all the international nuclear inspectors from the country. Since then, North Korea has declared that it did not plan to return to the talks and continued working on its nuclear programs. The global concern sparked again when North Korea first tested its ballistic missiles in 2017.
In April 2018, after having met on different occasions with representatives from South Korea and China, Kim Jong Un announced that he is ready to resume the negotiations and engage in peace talks. In May, the American President Donald Trump is set to meet with Kim Jong Un to try to reach an agreement over the denuclearization of North Korea.
In addition, a delegation of the EU Parliament, composed by seven MEPs, visited Japan and the Republic of Korea from 2-6 April 2018. After the visit, the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, David McAllister, said that the European Parliament supports the diplomatic dialogues with North Korea and the efforts to find a peaceful resolution for the tension and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
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- European Parliament (2018). MEPs delegation supports new high level dialogue with North Korea. Available here [Accessed on 25/04/2018].
- U.S. Department of State. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Available here. [Accessed on 25/04/2018].
- Park Chang-kwoun (2015). Rethinking North Korea’s Denuclearization: Approaches and Strategies published by Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP).
- Choe Sang-Hun. “We no longer need” nuclear or missiles tests, North Korean leader says. Available here. [Accessed on 26/04/2018].
Written by Daniela Loghin — Communication Study Visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg) and a student of the Master Program in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. Daniela has a degree in “Lingue, Culture, Letterature e Traduzione” at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. She speaks Romanian, Russian, English, Italian and French.