November 09, 2009

Hard Lessons: Navigating Negotiations with the DPRK

By Abraham M. Denmark, Michael J Zubrow and Zachary Hosford

Hard Lessons: Navigating Negotiations with the DPRK is meant to help current and future policymakers who will engage with North Korean officials navigate the pitfalls of past negotiations and forge a credible path toward denuclearization.Based on interviews with over 50, high-level current and former American and South Korean government officials, politicians, academics, and journalists, the authors of the report – CNAS Fellow Abraham Denmark and CNAS Research Assistants Zachary Hosford and Michael Zubrow –  summarize eight obstacles faced in past negotiations and recommend eight new strategies and tactics for addressing them.  

Though many observers doubt that North Korea will ever denuclearize, the authors agree that negotiations remain the only viable option if the main U.S. objective remains a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and hope that this report can serve as a guide by laying out the hard lessons learned by past negotiators. “If policymakers learn from past negotiations, they can launch a new round of talks with the DPRK on a more positive trajectory,” write the authors. “Success, however hard won, will not only increase America’s security but also restore stability to the Northeast Asian region.”



  • Abraham M. Denmark

  • Michael J Zubrow

  • Zachary Hosford

  • Reports
    • December 18, 2019
    Crossed Wires

    The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....

    By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt

  • Commentary
    • CNN Opinion
    • November 27, 2019
    Trump has three options with North Korea to avoid a dangerous perfect storm in Asia

    In the next few weeks, the Korean Peninsula will face a watershed moment -- one which could upend the United States' alliances in northeast Asia and regional stability as a wh...

    By Duyeon Kim

  • Commentary
    • The Diplomat
    • November 1, 2019
    How American Progressives Think About Asian Security

    Democrats running for the 2020 U.S. presidential nomination implicitly accept – or at least have not rejected – the premise that the United States’ fate is linked to that of t...

    By Van Jackson

  • Commentary
    • October 2, 2019
    Situation Report: U.S.-North Korea Negotiations to Resume This Weekend

    After months of stalled talks, U.S. and North Korean representatives will meet this weekend to resume negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Just this week, ...

    By Duyeon Kim, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Kristine Lee, Van Jackson & ​Neil Bhatiya

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia