Quoted: The Guardian on North Korea Releasing U.S. Detainees

North Korea releases three US citizens in run-up to Trump summit

“North Korea recognises that not releasing the detainees will call its sincerity about progress into question,” said Mintaro Oba, a former US diplomat who worked on North Korea policy. “By releasing them, it gets to look like it is the driver of progress, putting pressure on the United States to reciprocate, or at least do nothing to disrupt the good atmosphere.”
But the release will do little to bridge the chasm that remains between Washington and Pyongyang over the North’s nuclear programme, Oba said. 


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