Let me ask the question, why would anyone in his right mind throw away his most powerful means of self defense when faced with a hostile and belligerent enemy?
Yes, I am talking about Kim Jong Un. For some bizarre reason, the American political establishment thinks they can coerce Kim to give up his nuclear weapons capability with no guarantees of security or peace. Would you? I wouldn’t.
Let’s put ourselves in Kim’s position. You are now dictator of a small, economically deprived nation which is still officially at war with your southern neighbor and the United States which
maintains nearly 30,000 active duty troops in your neighbor’s country (over and above their own heavily equipped military), and had previously deployed, but since removed, nuclear weapons near your border1, and conducts hostile military exercises on your southern border each year, and maintains nuclear forces off shore capable of striking your country, and has imposed severe economic sanctions against your country.
Since you lack the resources to compete militarily with your southern neighbor and his ally, you have made a large investment in developing a nuclear strike capability of your own that you can use as a deterrent against an attack from your enemies2.
Now, the nation on your southern border is a very wealthy nation who is lead by a person who appears to be very reasonable, who shows no belligerence against you, or intent on invading your country, and has even made gestures of cooperation and peace with you. But, unfortunately, his country is dominated by the U.S. which is hostile toward you and your government and is lead by a president who not so long ago threatened to annihilate your entire country. More recently, you were approached by this same U.S. President who is insisting that you give up your nuclear deterrent and, in return, will remove some of the economic sanctions against you. However, you must give up your nuclear deterrent first before he removes any sanctions. Now let’s think about that.
First he offers no guarantee of peace. Second, he doesn’t promise to remove his troops from your neighbors territory. Third, he doesn’t promise to remove the threat of his own nuclear forces. Fourth, he and his entire government remain hostile toward you and seek to overthrow your communist government. Fifth, he has withdrawn from a number of treaties signed by former U.S. presidents. Sixth, he has reneged on numerous business contracts prior to becoming president. So firstly, do you trust this president? And secondly, even if you did trust him, is what you are getting in return worth giving up your only real deterrent against his aggression?
I ask you, now that you are in Kim’s position, would you accept that deal? I wouldn’t; and I know no sane person who would. So why do our political leaders think they can get away with this? Do they think that you (as Kim Jong Un) are so stupid they can get away with it? Or are they so stupid that they actually believe they can? Or is this just political theater?
1 There are, however, numerous proponents in the U.S. (among them being the national security advisor) for re-deploying nuclear weapons to South Korea.
2 This is not unlike the a homeowner in a ghetto neighborhood feeling the need to own an assault rifle.