North Koreans cannot be trusted

Well surprise, surprise! U.S. intelligence agencies say North Korean officials are planning ways to cheat on any pact calling for elimination of their nuclear weapons arsenal.

Sarcasm aside, that should surprise no one. For decades, North Korean leaders have promised with straight faces to back away from bellicosity as policy. On each and every occasion, they have been lying.

President Donald Trump’s administration is negotiating a deal aimed at reducing the threat posed by Pyongyang. Trump has vowed that it will result in a deal that is both big and verifiable.

Let us hope that can be done, while wondering how on earth it is possible.

Following CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s visit with North Korean officials to set some details of the agreement Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Koreans denounced the U.S.’s “unilateral and gangster-like demands for denuclearization.”

If an agreement is reached, and the “gangster-like” comments seem to suggest that won’t happen, U.S. officials should insist on some monitoring mechanism that makes it difficult for North Korea to cheat. Making it impossible may be, well, impossible.

At the very first sign Kim Jong Un has lied to us, the most severe economic sanctions available should be slapped on the rogue regime.