August 26, 2020

North Korea and Joe Biden: Principled Diplomacy Doesn't Mean Strategic Patience 2.0

By Joshua Fitt

Vice President Biden has not yet unveiled what his comprehensive North Korea policy would look like if he gets elected in November, but one can gain a few clear insights from his broader foreign policy vision and comments from the campaign trail. While a Biden administration is likely to continue implementing an expansive high-pressure sanctions regime to drive the North Koreans to the negotiating table, the character of Washington’s diplomacy with Pyongyang, Seoul, and Tokyo will look very different.

North Korea’s increased credibility as a nuclear threat and relevance to U.S. strategic competition with China will place it as a higher foreign policy priority than ever before.

Biden has clearly stated he would not hold any summits with Kim Jong-un until negotiations first yield preconditions that would make such a meeting more than a media spectacle. Biden isn’t rejecting summitry simply to draw a distinction between his and President Trump’s approaches, but because summits do not work and most likely run counter to U.S. interests by legitimizing Kim’s dictatorship.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

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