With nearly twenty-five million citizens, a secretive totalitarian dictatorship, and active nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs, North Korea presents some of the world’s most difficult foreign policy challenges. For decades, the United States and its partners have employed multiple strategies in an effort to prevent Pyongyang from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Washington has moved from the Agreed Framework under President Bill Clinton to George W. Bush’s denunciation of the regime as part of the “axis of evil” to a posture of “strategic patience” under Barack Obama. Given that a new president will soon occupy the White House, policy expert Walter C. Clemens Jr. argues that now is the time to reconsider US diplomatic efforts in North Korea.
In North Korea and the World, Clemens poses the question, “Can, should, and must we negotiate with a regime we regard as evil?” Weighing the needs of all the stakeholders―including China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea―he concludes that the answer is yes. After assessing nine other policy options, he makes the case for engagement and negotiation with the regime. There still may be time to freeze or eliminate North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction.
Grounded in philosophy and history, this volume offers a fresh road map for negotiators and outlines a grand bargain that balances both ethical and practical security concerns.