There’s no indication Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign caused Kim to rethink his weapons program, even if it helped push North Korea toward what’s expected to be its biggest economic contraction in more than two decades. “Sanctions appear to have had little, if any, effect in slowing down the DPRK’s drive for fissile materials and nuclear weapon production,” said Siegfried Hecker, a professor emeritus at Stanford University and one of the few American scientists who has participated in in-person inspections of North Korea’s main nuclear facilities.

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