Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s evolving nuclear arsenal presents a complex security challenge. What can states and international organizations do to reduce immediate nuclear risks while planning for a longer term disarmament process?

    Time to Deal With North Korea

    • December 12, 2002

    North Korea’s decision to restart its plutonium production reactors creates an immediate crisis for the United States and its allies in the region. This event threatens to recreate the tense standoff that nearly led to war on the Korean peninsula in 1994. This dangerous decision by North Korea seems a transparent move designed to bring the United States back to the negotiating table and resume a direct dialogue with Washington. Although the Bush administration is unlikely to see this move as an opportunity to engage the North Koreans, the United States should move quickly to negotiate with Pyongyang to secure a total ban on North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

    Stopping Missiles At Their Source

    • December 11, 2002

    The seizure and subsequent release of North Korean scud missiles bound for Yemen on the high seas is a dramatic development, but the export of missiles from North Korea to Yemen should come as no surprise. North Korea has sold Yemen Scud missiles before, and the U.S. imposed sanctions against North Korea for such commerce just this past August. Despite U.S. concerns, however, there is nothing illegal about the sale of such missiles by North Korea. Neither North Korea nor Yemen has signed any international treaties or bilateral agreements to prohibit such trade. In fact, no international treaty banning missiles sales exists and many countries, including the United States, sell both short and long range ballistic missiles. Lastly, it is not clear that selling ballistic missiles to Yemen is a threat to US security or that of states in the region.

    North Korea's Secret Nuclear Weapons Program: A Serious Violation of North Korea's International Commitments?

    • October 25, 2002

    North Korea's recent disclosure of an active nuclear weapons program has led members of the Bush Administration and many observers in Washington to suggest that the North's program constitutes a violation of four international agreements. The implications of these violations depend on the details of the North Korean program, many of which remain unknown. In particular, the question of how advanced North Korea's efforts have progressed must be answered in order to determine whether North Korea is actually in violation of the letter of the following four agreements.

    North Korea's Nuclear Breach

    • October 17, 2002

    North Korea’s admission that it has an active nuclear weapons program in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the 1994 Agreed Framework with the United States and the 1991 North-South Korean Denuclearization Agreement is a stunning development. North Korea’s open pursuit of nuclear weapons has the potential to quickly and permanently destabilize the security situation in East Asia and beyond. While it is still not clear if North Korea is currently producing weapons-grade materials, its renewed and now open admission that it is seeking nuclear weapons requires the United States, its allies and the entire world to quickly develop ways to confront North Korea’s program and prevent it from continuing.

    U.S. Policy on North Korea: The View from Seoul

    • Toby
    • March 25, 2002

    A continuation of the current White House policy risks a resumption of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula, but this time with a North Korea that may have the capability to carry war to U.S. territory.

    The Decision Not To Certify

    • March 20, 2002

    In a major, potentially disastrous development, the Bush Administration - according to news reports - intends to stop certifying to Congress that North Korea is in compliance with the agreement reached in 1994, known formally as the Agreed Framework. While the administration intends to continue its implementation of the pact, this failure to certify North Korea's compliance will only increase outside criticism of the Agreed Framework and call its successful and full implementation into doubt.

    What Is to Be Done With The Axis of Evil?

    President George W. Bush's State of the Union remarks labeling Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an axis of evil quickly circled the globe and re-ignited fears of a more aggressive brand of U.S. unilateralism.

    What Is to Be Done With The Axis of Evil?

    New Leaders, New Directions: Proliferation 2001

    The Way Forward on North Korea

    • June 15, 2001

    On June 13 U.S. special envoy Jack Pritchard met North Korea's U.N. envoy Li hyong Chol in New York, beginning a dialogue between the Bush administration and the government in Pyongyang. Applauding the administration's decision, an Independent Task Force on Korea sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations asserts that "no critics have offered a better idea than the difficult course of sustained, hard-headed engagement in pursuit of U.S. and allied interests."

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