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Ret. Vice Admiral Robert Murrett on North Korea and diplomacy talks
Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), a professor of practice at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and Deputy Director of the Institute of National Security and Counterterrorism, offered comments on the apparent breakthrough with North Korea and its offer to put its nuclear weapons on the bargaining table. Murrett specializes in national security, international relations, military, and defense strategy and his comments are below.
“The DPRK may be willing to forfeit nuclear capability for removal of sanctions and other concessions, but it will not be easy to convince them to take this step. We’re only at the very initial stages of possible diplomatic talks, and we should have much more resolution on their actual posture in the weeks ahead,” says Murrett.
When asked whether there is a real chance for direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea Murrett says “possibly”. “Although there are shades of ‘talks’. Ultimately, they may include others from the region, and start out with a lower level of representation on both/all sides.”
Murrett says this week’s announcement is merely the beginning and “Negotiations could last several months, if not longer. Significant progress would likely involve a good deal of back and forth, as well as coordination with regional partners before a settlement.
“The U.S. and the ROK are close enough that this is not much of a threat,” says Murrett when asked whether North Korea’s attempt to get closer to the South is a tactic to divide the U.S. and its allies. “The DPRK will try to drive a wedge between the U.S. and all of our regional allies (ROK, Japan, Australia), but it’s a stretch.”