China Adviser Says ‘Impossible’ for North Korea to Give Up Nukes

(Bloomberg) -- It’s “impossible” for North Korea to completely give up its nuclear weapons, and the U.S. should instead focus on more incremental progress, an adviser to China’s foreign ministry told South Korea’s diplomatic community on Wednesday.

Xin Qiang, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the U.S. and the international community should abandon its push for “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization,” commonly referred to as CVID, and instead push for “conditional, reciprocal and incremental denuclearization.”

“If we want to really solve this issue, we should think more than before from the DPRK’s perspective and put their concerns into consideration,” Xin told a forum co-organized by South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referring to North Korea’s official name. The current push for CVID isn’t realistic or practical as it could take years to verify, he said.

President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly said it wouldn’t ease sanctions until North Korea agrees to complete denuclearization. North Korea abruptly cancelled a meeting with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo earlier this month, and since then no new meetings have been scheduled between the two countries.

China and Russia have backed North Korea’s push for sanctions relief to reward Kim Jong Un for an extended pause from testing ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons. North Korea’s nuclear issue cannot be handled or resolved overnight even though political leaders want to achieve it quickly to make it a personal achievement, Xin added.

South Korea said that Xin has frequently provided consultation to China’s State Council, foreign ministry and the State Oceanic Administration of China.

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