USA-North Korea Relations, What Would USA Do to Deal With Problem of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?

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USA-North Korea Relations, What Would USA Do to Deal With Problem of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?, Policy And Politics International Perspective Paper, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and …

USA-North Korea Relations, What Would USA Do to Deal With Problem of North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?, Policy And Politics International Perspective Paper, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 2006

Background Information About USA-North Korea Relations :
North Korea has a centralized government under the rigid control of the communist Korean Workers' Party (KWP), to which all government officials belong. U.S.-North Korea relations developed primarily during the Korean War, but in recent years have been largely defined by the United States' suspicions regarding North Korea's nuclear programs, and North Korea's perception of an imminent U.S. attack. North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, and is widely believed to have a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons, deliverable by artillery against South Korea. Different presidents have dealt with North Korea in different ways. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the 42nd and 43rd presidents respectively also tried at the beginning of their tenure as president to ignore the brewing problems in North Korea. Their decisions in dealing with North Korea would help to define their early reputations as foreign policy makers. Many similarities can be seen, however, between how Clinton started dealing with North Korea and how Bush started out dealing with North Korea.

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  • 1. POLICY PAPER ON USA-NORTH KOREA RELATIONSWHAT WOULD USA DO TO DEAL WITH PROBLEM OF NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS? (Policy and Politics International Perspective) Ergul HALISCELIK Senior Treasury ControllerRepublic of Turkey Prime Ministry Undersecretariat of Treasury Policy Paper, Spring 2006 H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2. Background Information About USA-North Korea Relations : North Korea has a centralized government under the rigid control of the communist KoreanWorkers Party (KWP), to which all government officials belong.1 U.S.-North Korea relationsdeveloped primarily during the Korean War, but in recent years have been largely defined by theUnited States suspicions regarding North Koreas nuclear programs, and North Koreas perception ofan imminent U.S. attack. North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, and is widely believed tohave a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons, deliverable by artillery against South Korea.2Different presidents have dealt with North Korea in different ways. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush,the 42nd and 43rd presidents respectively also tried at the beginning of their tenure as president toignore the brewing problems in North Korea. Their decisions in dealing with North Korea would helpto define their early reputations as foreign policy makers. Many similarities can be seen, however,between how Clinton started dealing with North Korea and how Bush started out dealing with NorthKorea.3 Clinton’s and Bush’s policies toward North Korea: Clinton started out trying to altogether ignore some important problems brewing in NorthKorea. However, Clinton very rapidly understood to deal with North Korea when fears starting to takeplace that they were generating materials for nuclear weapons with their small nuclear reactor inYongbyon. Clinton, in response to these fears, decided to begin military training exercises, known asTeam Spirit, in South Korea. This flexing of military muscle prompted North Korea to threaten to pullout of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). After some negotiations North Korea agreed to pull backon their threat of withdrawing from the NPT. This led Clinton to reward North Korea for its reversal 1
  • 3. by not considering any trade sanction or military actions against the North Korea. Clintonadministration supported the idea that the military coercion was not an effective policy. On October12, 1994, the United States and North Korea signed the "Agreed Framework4 George W. Bush also started out with a policy of indifference towards North Korea. But policywas changed after September 11, 2001. In 2002, the Administration also became aware that NorthKorea was developing a uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons purposes. U.S.- NorthKorea tensions accumulated, when Bush classified North Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil" in his2002 State of the Union address. North Koreas conventional force posture, missile development andexport programs, human rights practices, and humanitarian are important issues for the BushAdministration. Another trend that can be seen early on in the Bush Administrations policy is that ofeconomic punishment. Bush planned to stop the progress of oil shipments and construction on the twolight water reactors. Many clear differences can be seen between Clintons policy and Bushs policytowards North Korea. Clintons was more of a reward path, enticing the North Korea to comply withthe United States by offering economic rewards. Bush, on the other hand, is attempting to bully theNorth Korea into complying with economic threats. Another difference that we see between the twoadministrations is the use of diplomacy.5 The Effects of Those Policies: It was the Clinton’s administration success to sign "Agreed Framework" with North Korea OnOctober 12, 1994. By this the United States and North Korea agreed to freeze its plutonium productionprogram in exchange for fuel oil, economic cooperation, and the construction of two modern light-water nuclear power plants. Pyongyang carefully observed these provisions until the Bushadministration stopped the oil shipments in December 2002. 2
  • 4. The Bush administration believes that the United States should adopt a hawkish policy andshould penalize North Koreas rogue behavior. In contrast, the Clinton administration did not seem toview North Korea as an irrational revisionist state, despite its rogue behavior, but felt that North Koreacould be understood through the security dilemma. Thus, engagement with negotiation often was thebest policy for the North Korean threat.6 As a result of Bush administration policies, On September 19, 2005, Six-party talks ( China,North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan and the United States) resulted in an agreement where NorthKorea agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program for economic cooperation and assistance,repeating its right to "peaceful uses of nuclear energy," while the U.S. recognized North Koreassovereignty and stated that it had no intention to attack North Korea. 7 May be as a result of these policies, North Korea didn’t produce any nuclear weapons in BillClinton’s eight years of office, while they produced about six in the first 4 years of President’s Bushoffice.8What would new administrations do to deal with problem of N. Korea’s nuclear weapons?  New administrations, contrary to Clinton and Bush Administrations, should start out with an effective policy towards North Korea.  They should provide a security guarantee and better relations to deal with problem of N.Korea’s nuclear weapons. Because North Korea aims to ease its security dilemma and maintain its regime survival, to dismiss North Koreas security dilemma is to miss the cause of its actions. 3
  • 5.  The policy of isolating North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programs is not effective policy. New administrations should negotiate one-on-one talks with North Korea not only on nuclear weapons issue but also on economic and social issues. While none of the parties desire a North Korea with nuclear weapons, South Korea and Japan are very concerned about North Korean counterstrikes in case of military action against North Korea. China and South Korea are also very worried about the economic and social consequences should this situation cause the North Korean government to collapse. So Six- party talks will be effective policy to solve North Korea problem. Even though Bush Administration named North Korea as part of an "Axis of Evil" following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, New administrations should not plan any urgent military action against North Korea. 1 North Korea (11/05) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2792.htm#political 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.-North_Korea_relations, "U.S.-North Korea relations - Wikipedia" 3 http://people.umass.edu/mray/essays/northkorea.html, "Comparison of Bush and Clinton Foreign Policy towards North Korea." 4 http://people.umass.edu/mray/essays/northkorea.html, "Comparison of Bush and Clinton Foreign Policy towards North Korea." 5 Ibid 6 Jihwan Hwang, “Realism and U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea: the Clinton and Bush administrations in comparative perspective” World Affairs, Summer, 2004 7 North Korea and weapons of mass destruction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 8 Nicholas D.Kristof, “N.Korea, 6, And Bush, 0,” The New York Times, April 26, 2005 pg.A.19 4