Kim Jong Un made history Friday by crossing over the world’s most heavily armed borders. (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)
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GOYANG, South Korea: To the rest of the world focused on whether Kim Jong Un is really willing to negotiate away his nuclear weapons, North Korea has a message: He isn't embarking on talks with his rivals out of desperation.A careful reading of what Kim himself has said and what the North's media have – and have not – been reporting over the past few months sheds some light on why.Before meeting Moon, Kim declared to a gathering of his top party officials that the country's missiles and nuclear weapons have advanced to the point that he no longer needs to test them.Nowhere, however, was there any hint that Kim was considering giving his nuclear weapons up.For sure, the North has toned down its vitriol significantly.Mentions of how the North's nuclear weapons are entirely justified and non-negotiable as long as North Korea faces Washington's "nuclear blackmail" have vanished for the time being.But from Pyongyang's perspective, any serious attempt at denuclearization will require assurances that the United States would agree to not use its nuclear weapons against the North to defend its allies in South Korea.
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