Still a long way from denuclearising North Korea, say experts

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (second from right), his wife, Ri Sol Ju (beside him), and South Korean officials making the so-called "finger heart" gesture on top of Mount Paekdu last Thursday. Mr Kim has expressed a willingness to "permanently" sc
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (second from right), his wife, Ri Sol Ju (beside him), and South Korean officials making the so-called "finger heart" gesture on top of Mount Paekdu last Thursday. Mr Kim has expressed a willingness to "permanently" scrap the Yongbyon nuclear complex.PHOTO: SOUTH KOREA'S PRESIDENTIAL BLUE HOUSE

SEOUL/WASHINGTON • At last week's summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to allow outside inspections on key missile facilities and expressed a willingness, for the first time, to "permanently" scrap North Korea's main nuclear complex.

While these are positive first steps, experts say they would do little to damage the country's larger nuclear and missile capabilities, or to demonstrate whether Mr Kim is serious about giving up his nuclear arsenal.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Still a long way from denuclearising N. Korea, say experts'. Print Edition | Subscribe