The CSS Blog Network

What’s in a Name? North Korea and the Contested Politics of ‘Nuclear Weapons States’

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 6 March 2019.

The second nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended abruptly last week with no deal and no plan for North Korean denuclearization. When asked how he had discussed the matter with Kim, Trump responded by noting, “denuclearization is a very important word, has become a very well-used word. A lot of people don’t know what it means but to me it’s pretty obvious we have to get rid of the nukes.”

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Whence Korean Denuclearization

Image courtesy of US Department of State/Flickr.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Forum on 14 January 2019.

North Korea’s state-owned news agency ran a wire story with tremendous significance just before Christmas, making clear that unilateral denuclearization is not going to happen. As part of a detailed explanation of Pyongyang’s position, it said: “When we refer to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, it, therefore, means removing all elements of nuclear threats from the areas of both the north and the south of Korea and also from surrounding areas from where the Korean peninsula is targeted. This should be clearly understood.” The text also states that “the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula means ‘completely removing the nuclear threats of the U.S. to the DPRK.’”

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Kim Jong Un’s Long Game

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State/Flickr. Public Domain

This article was originally published by Pacific Forum CSIS on 11 July 2018.

Welcome to North Korean Negotiations 101. North Korea’s reaction to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Pyongyang was expected and does not signal the end of the diplomatic process; it just shows us it will be a long and difficult one. On top of dealing with North Korean-style negotiations, President Donald Trump already made important concessions too soon before concrete North Korean denuclearization steps while Kim is playing a long game, looking 40 to 50 years down the road. Trump, on the other hand, seems to be focused on the next 2.5 years, until the next US presidential election in 2020.

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Four Fast Facts on Denuclearization

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State/Flickr. Public Domain

This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 14 June 2018.

The Singapore Summit between the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-un, and US President Donald Trump—preceded by an historic border crossing and sit-downs with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping—is a tremendous moment by any measure. Almost exactly 55 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement, the prospect of a formal end to the Korean War and significantly thawed relations on the Korean Peninsula seems possible. Just a few months ago, North Korea and US were threatening each other with war.

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It’s Not Really About the Nukes – Crisis Negotiation in North Korea

Image courtesy of Dreidprawns/Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 12 April 2018.

The United States may soon have a shot at talking directly to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Given this unique opportunity, what foreign policy tactics should US negotiators use in the effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula? It may seem strange, but negotiators might consider taking a lesson from the FBI and the field of Crisis Negotiation to show us a better path to de-escalation.

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