Friday's landmark summit between the heads of the two Koreas was widely seen as a positive step in the quest to achieve a nuclear-free North Korea, but it failed to provide concrete details on how to achieve that goal. Those tough particulars are likely being saved for the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
The third inter-Korean summit concluded with Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-In signing a joint declaration agreeing to work for the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." But no specifics were provided as to how or when.
The meeting was a diplomatic win, but it "was never going to go into details on decnulearization, which is what everybody wants," said Andrew Gilholm, principal and director of the analysis practice for greater China and North Asia at Control Risks.
Information on whether Pyongyang will unconditionally relinquish nuclear weapons and how that process can be verified may only be revealed at the Trump-Kim meeting, he continued: "The real negotiations were never going to be last Friday, it's going to be between the U.S. and North Korea."
Despite Kim's promises, "prospects for the North Korean leader giving up his nuclear weapons remain poor," analysts at consultancy Eurasia Group warned in a note over the weekend. "Grand statements in support of full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula have been made before," they added, referring to the first two inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007.