Kim Jong Un’s New Formulation

in Program

On September 6, 2018, North Korean media reported what amounts to a new formulation on the nuclear issue from Kim Jong Un:

“Noting that it is our fixed stand and his will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat, he said that the north and the south should further their efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

In one sense, the underlined portion would seem to be nothing more than a repetition, in new words, of the term “denuclearization.” Kim’s public remarks on the nuclear issue, however, are never so simple. They are carefully considered. The introduction of a new formulation is more than simple word choice. It is meant to signal something important.

To understand this point, it’s useful to look at recent history. In July 2017, at the time of the first successful launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, Kim declared that:

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