Singapore Summit: U.S. Must Avoid the Trap

China and North Korea are both playing a long-term strategy game, similar to the ancient board game "Weiqi." The United States must be aware that the Singapore Summit is likely part of both nations' strategies. 

Whether immediate denuclearization or some alternative gradual path to achieve denuclearization of North Korea is achievable, it is clear that the summit between North Korea and the United States is a meeting with complex and long-term strategic issues at play. Positively influencing the denuclearization of North Korea is an intelligent, tactical move that could go a long way toward achieving one of China’s long-term, strategic objectives of diminishing U.S. influence in the region, further isolating Taiwan from Western influence, and establishing itself as a superpower on the world stage. Alternatively, denuclearization also could be a move by North Korea to reduce China’s influence in its internal affairs. Attempts to understand North Korea’s motivations and the effect of external influence have been considered “an excruciatingly difficult subject to comprehend.” [1]

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