Time Is Running Out on North Korea Diplomacy | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Time Is Running Out on North Korea Diplomacy

The window for resuming productive negotiations with North Korea will be closing soon. The Biden administration has not treated diplomacy with North Korea as a priority in its first six months in office, and it has shown no sign of pursuing a more creative and moderate policy focused on arms control rather than disarmament. Despite South Korean President Moon’s requests that the U.S. resume its engagement with North Korea, the US has taken no meaningful action. Even Biden’s North Korea envoy is working on the issue only on a part-time basis. As Moon’s term in office draws to a close next spring, the chance for a closely coordinated diplomatic effort by South Korea and the US is slipping away and could easily be lost.

Much of the discussion in the US surrounding North Korea remains stuck in an earlier era, so that fairly serious proposals for a diplomatic settlement with Pyongyang rely on the fantastical notion that North Korea would agree to the dismantling and destruction of its nuclear arsenal. Vincent Brooks and Ho Young Leem, two former military commanders from the US and South Korea, have drawn up a proposal for how to re-engage North Korea diplomatically with the goal being full normalization of relations and an end to North Korea’s isolation. Some of their suggestions are reasonable enough, but the assumption that an agreement would require "the verified destruction of nuclear weapons" renders their proposal dead on arrival.