Pyongyang has spoken: North Korea has chosen the path of confrontation. Despite a series of agreements orchestrated by the Clinton and Bush administrations, North Korea has made no progress toward engagement and denuclearization, and has abdicated its commitments to the international community. While President Obama has reaffirmed the inevitability of progress over the “long arc of history,” the history of negotiations with North Korea looks more like a frustrating “rinse and repeat” cycle than anything resembling a clear trajectory. The Obama administration should be under no illusions – the turbulent cycles of North Korean denuclearization negotiations have put the United States and the international community in a disadvantageous negotiating position. It is becoming increasingly clear that this dynamic is unsustainable. Therefore, the Obama administration should pursue a strategic management approach that provides a bridge between short- and medium-term strategic objectives and long term aspirations of denuclearization through negotiation. This framework is designed to enable America to regain the strategic initiative and defend our allies while guarding against North Korean provocations.
More from CNAS
CommentarySituation 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
CommentaryHow to Make Proportionate Bargains with North Korea on Denuclearization and Peace
The United States and North Korea will finally sit down for nuclear talks on October 5, according to an announcement by Pyongyang. Three months had passed without negotiations...
By Duyeon Kim
CommentaryConfronting Reality: The Bitter Medicine That North Korea Policy Needs Now
My entire career, I’ve watched policy officials make the well-intentioned choice to seek North Korean denuclearization. In the early 2000s, it was a smart and necessary goal. ...
By Van Jackson
In a new report, Dr. Van Jackson argues that while pursuing North Korean denuclearization is ideal for U.S. national interests, it is no longer realistic for the near-term fut...
By Van Jackson