March 06, 2018

Can South Korea Really Defuse the North's Nuclear Threat?

By Patrick M. Cronin

South Korea’s high-powered envoys sent to Pyongyang to prepare for a possible summit have apparently extracted from Kim Jong Un’s regime an idea that many on the outside assume is impossible: that North Korea might be willing to give up nuclear weapons altogether. Even if that is the case, the path to denuclearization with will be long and tortuous. The more immediate question is how to pursue both North-South and North Korean-U.S. diplomatic tracks after the Paralympics in Pyeongchang.

Olympic Games hosted by South Korea in 1988 and 2018 bookend the period when North Korea went from owning a plutonium research reactor and short-range missile program to potentially joining the handful of actors capable of fielding nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Kim Jong Un is feeling emboldened, declaring his determination to mass produce strategic weapons to threaten the United States, even as he sent his younger sister to the Winter Games to highlight his newfound desire for peace with South Korea. Reports out of Pyongyang suggesting Kim might be willing to relinquish nuclear weapons in exchange for new security guarantees, opens up new hope for negotiation.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • April 8, 2021
    It’s Still Hard to Be America’s Ally

    The drive to enshrine a U.S. foreign policy for the American middle class may, in particular, pose new dilemmas for long-term allies....

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Podcast
    • April 8, 2021
    Are the US and China entering a Cold War?

    Demetri Sevastopulo, the FT’s US-China correspondent, talks to Michèle Flournoy about the expanded economic and political influence of China and how might Joe Biden break thro...

    By Michèle Flournoy

  • Commentary
    • American Purpose
    • April 5, 2021
    Grooming Autocrats

    America’s increasing focus on rivalry with China ensures that U.S. Africa policy will continue to be viewed, at least in part, through a China lens....

    By David Shullman & Patrick Quirk

  • Podcast
    • April 2, 2021
    ChinaTalk: Japan's China Challeng‪e‬

    Joshua Fitt cohosts the latest episode of ChinaTalk to discuss the relationship and challenges Japan faces with China. Listen to the full episode from ChinaTalk....

    By Joshua Fitt & Jordan Schneider

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia