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A denuclearization deal will not end the North Korea problem

 South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) during their meeting on May 26, 2018 in Panmunjom, North Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their meeting on May 26, 2018, in Panmunjom, North Korea. Photo: South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images

Hopes are high for President Trump to strike a “grand deal” with Kim Jong-un in Singapore next week to denuclearize North Korea, but neither CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization) nor CVIG (complete, verifiable, irreversible guarantee of North Korea's security) has much chance of becoming a reality.

Between the lines: Both leaders will be tempted to paint the meeting as a success, but real challenges will attend any post-summit discussion of the logistics of North Korea's denuclearization. The Trump team is unlikely to abandon its CVID goal, which Kim's team will oppose for fear of following in the footsteps of Libya, Iraq or Ukraine. North Korea has reportedly demanded a CVIG for the current regime, but even if the U.S. were willing to grant it in exchange for CVID, there is a great risk such a deal would fall through after the summit.