North Korea - United States Policy Toward North Korea: a Dossier
What is a Dossier?Via the dossiers, we try to highlight the priorities of the US Government with regard to specific foreign policy policy issues. We provide statements by U.S. public officials, but also reports, hearings, and journal articles.
"We are going to be continuing to work, again, with our partners, to try to find the best way forward to achieve a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to encourage and finally get the North Korean regime to undertake steps that are irreversible and that are concrete to eliminate its nuclear weapons program." The Obama Administration's 2011 Foreign Policy Priorities
The primary strategic objective for U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region is to promote a peaceful and stable security environment that advances the interests of the United States, our allies, and partners in the region. Essential to this approach is the security and stability that our alliances with Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines provide. China is also a key U.S. partner in promoting peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and globally, and the Joint Statement issued during President Hu’s January 2011 to Washington underscored that “in coordination with other parties, the United States and China will endeavor to increase cooperation to address common concerns and promote shared interests.”
Despite the tremendous opportunities in Asia that have become part of our popular discourse, one country stands out as an outlier, and in fact an impediment, to the region’s promising future: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK). The verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which is the core objective of the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, is an essential ingredient to the Asia-Pacific region’s long-term success and to our own security. Progress toward this goal requires close coordination between the ROK, Japan, and the United States, as well as with China and Russia. Assistant Secretary Campbell on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea (01-03-2011)
Major US Government Statements
A select list of major statements with policy value.
Latest US Government Statements
The most recent statements in reverse chronological order.
U.S. Policy Toward North Korea Source: U.S. Senate, Foreign Relations Committee, March 7, 2013.
-02/12/13 North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues Source: CRS Report for Congress.
-01/28/13 U.S. and South Korean Cooperation in the World Nuclear Energy Market: Major Policy Considerations Source: CRS Report for Congress.
-01/04/13 North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation Source: CRS Report for Congress.
Advancing Human Rights and the Prospect for Democracy in North Korea. Carl Gershman, Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Summer 2012, pp. 41-49. "American policymakers tend to fixate on North Korea’s nuclear program and provocative international behavior, failing to appreciate the extent to which the country’s totalitarian system is steadily eroding. In the post-Kim Jong Il era, possibilities for internal political and economic change and the eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula are clearer than ever before. Carl Gershman of the National Endowment for Democracy discusses the origins and evolution of the new conditions in North Korea and argues that now is the the time to start preparing for the coming change." READ MORE A North Korean Spring? Victor D. Cha and Nicholas D. Anderson, The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2012, pp. 7-24. “Is revolution similar to the Arab Spring possible in North Korea? While many believe that Pyongyang survived its greatest challenge in the 1990s, that crisis set off divisive processes and underlying tensions between state and society which have been developing for more than 20 years.” READ MORE North Korean Menace: Can the repressive regime survive? Robert Kiener, CQ Global Researcher, July 5, 2011, pp. 315-340. "North Korea is one of the world's last family-run communist dictatorships. As 2012 approaches — the year North Korea has vowed to become a 'powerful and prosperous' nation — the regime's ailing leader, Kim Jong Il, appears determined to extend his family's tight grip on power by anointing his son, Kim Jong Un, as the next leader. Recently, the government — with 1 million troops and a growing nuclear-weapons program — has conducted provocative military actions against South Korea. But the country hasn't been able to feed itself for decades, depending on charitable organizations and other nations — mainly China — for food donations. The reclusive regime severely restricts contact with the outside world and freedom of thought, conscience and expression. It runs 14 prison camps where public executions and torture are common. Given the country's mercurial leaders and its determination to continue developing nuclear weapons, many see it as one of the most dangerous threats — to the South, the region and the rest of the world." READ MORE North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and the maintenance of the Songun system, Benjamin Habib, Pacific Review, March 2011, pp. 43-64. "North Korea is unlikely to relinquish its nuclear programme because of its importance to the political economy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) state and the perpetuation of the Kim regime. Two observations give rise to this conclusion: firstly, the development of North Korea's nuclear programme has been a long-term project spanning several decades. At no stage has Pyongyang shown a commitment to its dismantlement. Secondly, denuclearisation negotiations have followed a cyclical pattern in which the North has provoked crises to make new demands and gain leverage in negotiations. By inference, it is clear that the nuclear programme has great intrinsic value to Pyongyang. This paper argues that the nuclear programme has value as a bargaining chip in international diplomacy to extract economic inputs for its moribund economy, in domestic politics as vehicle for bureaucratic interests and as a rallying symbol of the country's hyper-nationalist ideology, as well as its role as a defensive deterrent and important cog in Pyongyang's offensive asymmetric war strategy. For these reasons, the Kim regime is unlikely to seriously entertain nuclear disarmament." READ MORE