FOX News

Associate Professor of Government Walter Hatch was interviewed on FOX News Rundown June 11 by anchor Eric Shawn P’17 about North Korea’s human rights record and its history with the United States as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepared to meet June 12 in Singapore.

It was expected that terms of denuclearization would be the key topic of the summit; Hatch said he believes it is critical the summit define what that means for both the U.S. and North Korea.

“I think that on the United States side denuclearization by North Korea means an entire dismantling of its nuclear program, including its existing warheads,” Hatch said. “North Korea has a very different idea, that denuclearization would be dismantling its capability of building new warheads, but not any commitment to destroy its existing stockpile.”

Although previous negotiations between the countries have been unsuccessful—Hatch pointed out four failed agreements—he noted the personalities involved are different this time. “The two leaders seem to want this—meaning an agreement—more than state leaders from the United States and North Korea have in the past,” he said, “There’s almost a desperate feeling on both sides that something needs to happen.”

Hatch, who is also director of Colby’s Oak Center for Human Rights, shared his concerns about the regime’s human rights abuses. “North Korea’s human rights record is the worst of probably any country in the world.”

Hatch is an expert on the politics and international relations of East Asia. He’s currently working on a book about the politics of U.S. military bases in the region (mostly Japan and South Korea).

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