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

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