North Korea summit threatened by Trump’s bid to sever Iran nuclear deal

The Washington Times | : President Trump’s determination to undermine the Iran nuclear deal could undercut his hopes for quick success in the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, many in South Korea fear.

Former high-level South Korean officials and analysts say Mr. Kim will be far less likely to abandon his nuclear and missile programs if the U.S. pulls out of the 2015 multilateral agreement meant to curb Tehran’s nuclear programs in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.

Mr. Kim plans a one-on-one summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 and is set to meet Mr. Trump next month or in early June at a still-to-be-determined location. The Trump administration has said the goal of the high-risk meeting will be to get the North to agree to eventually give up its nuclear programs.

But the prospect of a U.S. pullout from the Iran deal casts a shadow over the talks.

“It will have a very negative influence on North Korea’s decision of whether or not to come out with a strong denuclearization statement or to make any serious concessions during a summit with President Trump,” said Paik Hak-soon, a top North Korea analyst with the Sejong Institute think tank in the South.