If the new inter-Korean military agreement signed by the leaders of North and South Korea is implemented, the chances of miscalculation or accident escalating to war will subside. However, there a serious challenge to bolster progress towards stable peace on the peninsula.
What might a realistic approach to one of the most complex and delicate nuclear negotiations ever attempted look like? Here’s why the United States and North Korea must tread carefully to resolve their impasse.
Further mitigating the risk of a local incident escalating out of control should continue to be a high priority for North and South Korea as well as for the United States.
U.S. and South Korean engagement with North Korea has focused almost exclusively on denuclearization to the detriment of progress in other areas that could advance normalization and reconciliation, which in turn could facilitate denuclearization.
Saudi Arabia took concrete steps to adopt a nuclear hedge strategy against Iran, and explore options to forestall a looming arms race in the Middle East over the buildup of nuclear latency.
In 2018, political relations on the Korean peninsula are in flux to an unprecedented degree.
Despite the pageantry of the Singapore summit, the outcomes remain uncertain.
This situation between Russia and NATO heightens the risk of a complete breakdown of bilateral nuclear arms control. It is compounded by the lack of regular strategic dialogue.
Although Senate Democrats and others are calling for complete dismantlement and removal of nuclear and chemical weapons from North Korea, the North Koreans have entirely different expectations. Political leaders in the United States should clarify what progress looks like, rather than attempting to negotiate a perfect deal.
Regardless of the prospects of denuclearizing North Korea, the United States and South Korea are likely to continue strengthening capabilities to deter North Korean coercive behavior. Yet, as they do this, it will become increasingly important to assess the regional implications of their actions.