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Even More North Korea Buzz: Campus Progress Interview with Charles Pritchard & Stimson Center Chimes In

Posted by K.E. White on June 11, 2007

Campus Progress is carrying an interview with former Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Charles Pritchard. Ambassador Pritchard discusses the current North Korean nuclear crisis, how it got their, and shines light onto the Bush administration’s evolving approach to this profound diplomatic challenge.

(Full disclosure: Proliferation Press contributor K. Edmund White conducted the interview)

Update: And for even more coverage of the North Korea issue, read this Stimson Center article by Alan D. Romberg.

From Romberg’s piece:

Finally, as everyone acknowledges, the 13 February “Initial Actions” agreement is just that, an initial set of steps that still leave one short of implementing the heart of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement: the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. At a minimum, success in that endeavor is viewed skeptically by many people as inconsistent with the North’s conception of its nuclear weapons as the ultimate guarantee of the DPRK regime’s survival. At a very minimum, it would require a total transformation of the relationship with the United States to a degree that would convince the North Korean leadership it no longer faced a threat from America (and hence did not need a nuclear deterrent). For the military leaders who now feel they have a “proven” nuclear deterrent, it will be a hard sell to trade such a physical capability for the ephemeral benefits of normalization of relations with Washington. Especially if “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il is incapacitated, as some Western media are reporting, the role of the military—already extremely strong—will be decisive.

This is not the moment to review why we never needed to get to this point with the North and how the Bush Administration drove us here by pushing things in the wrong direction during its first six years in office. But at some point it will be important to review that history in order to avoid repeating it when things get tough in the current negotiations, as they inevitably will.

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Posted in Alan D. Romberg, Alan Romberg, Campus Progress, Charles Pritchard, North Korea, Stimson Center | 1 Comment »