Defense Expert on N. Korea’s Willingness to Talk: ‘Hold the Champagne’

By Michael Morris | March 7, 2018 | 11:47am EST
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with a South Korean delegate in Pyongyang. (Screenshot)

Amidst news of North Korea’s willingness to talk, defense policy expert and President and CEO of Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney advised on his “Secure Freedom Minute” radio feature today that we simply “[h]old the champagne.”

“[H]ard experience should have taught us that Kim and his team will cheat on any promises they make and keep building weapons with which to threaten the rest of us,” stated Frank Gaffney. “My advice:  Hold the champagne.”

According to, “The outcome of the first formal talks ever between South Korean officials and Kim are generating optimism in Seoul, but Vice President Mike Pence in a guarded response stated that U.S. policy towards the Stalinist regime won’t change ‘until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.’”

When “[a]sked Tuesday to what he attributes Kim Jong-un’s declared willingness to talk, President Trump deadpanned, ‘Me,’ – then went on to say he believes the North Koreans want to talk because of the ‘very, very strong and very biting’ sanctions they are facing.”


Gaffney summarized the development as follows:

“So, North Korea says it’s willing to meet with South Korea’s president, negotiate with the United States and freeze its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

“Has the North’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, been so panicked by President Trump’s much-decried belligerency that he has actually abandoned the decades-long ambitions of his dynasty to have and brandish nuclear weapons?” asked defense policy expert Gaffney, seemingly unconvinced.

“Or is Kim simply doing what his family has done for years – a classic bait-and-switch masquerading as a charm offensive?” Gaffney questioned further. “In that case, protracted negotiations will lead to concessions by one or more Western powers, with the effect of legitimating and otherwise propping up the North Korean regime.”

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