The international community should stand back and reflect on the lessons learned from the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) experience in implementing safeguards over the last decade, particularly in North Korea and Iran. Such review and reflection suggests that just when safeguards are getting better, the political will to use them effectively seems to be waning.
The crisis is not over and there are important verification and implementation details to negotiate. But we have turned an important nuclear corner on the Korean Penninsula.
ISSUE BRIEF--The crisis is not over and there are important verification and implementation details to negotiate. But we have turned an important nuclear corner on the Korean Peninsula. The new agreement by North Korea to give up all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty is a major success for all the nations in the Six-Party talks. It is a victory for the United States who insisted on the complete end of these programs. It is a victory for North Korea, which has won a non-aggression pledge from the US and economic and energy aid. It is a victory for China, which patiently insisted on solving the stand-off through negotiations and played the key role in reaching the agreement. Finally, it is a victory for the “Libya model” over the “Iraq model”: end threats by changing a regime’s behavior, not by eliminating the regime. (Read More)
North Korea’s unchecked nuclear weapons capabilities represent a serious threat to regional security; to several key U.S. allies, including South Korea and Japan; and to the global effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Today’s nuclear threats come not only from these massive arsenals, but also from the newest and smallest contributors to "nuclear numbers." The emergence of new nuclear states could set off a "cascade of proliferation" and increase the likelihood of terrorists obtaining nuclear capability.