Cyclical Patterns of North Korean Nuclear Crises and Solutions: A South Korean Perspective
A closer look at the history of denuclearization talks held with North Korea since the 1990s reveals a cyclical pattern: (1) North Korean nuclear provocation and crisis, (2) negotiations and package deals, and finally (3) collapse of the nuclear deal. We can draw important lessons for future negotiations from these earlier episodes. There are four schools of thought on the North Korean nuclear issue: Collapse, Neglect, Negotiation and Sunshine. Inconsistencies in policy toward the North Korean nuclear issue have undermined foreign policy decision-making processes for the past 20 years. The continuous debate and argument between hawks and doves in both Washington and Seoul often paralyzes the decision-making process and undermines attempts at timely and proactive diplomacy. In addition, the consultation and coordination process between the United States and South Korea is oftentimes neither smooth nor effective. We face again with the difficult challenge of exploring both short-term and long-term solutions to the North Korean nuclear issue. Among the most important lessons learned from these failures has been that there is no substitute for a coordinated, strategic, sustainable, and comprehensive approach toward North Korea.
KeywordsInternational Atomic Energy Agency Korean Peninsula Nuclear Test Agree Framework Security Council Resolution
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