The Honorable Morton I. Abramowitz

Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

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Task Force Report No. 45

Meeting the North Korean Nuclear Challenge

The North Korean nuclear program is headed in a dangerous direction. Yet the United States and its allies have not set forth a coherent or unified strategy to stop it. This Task Force report evaluates the challenges facing the United States in and around the Korean Peninsula and assesses American options for meeting them.

See more in North Korea

Task Force Report No. 35

Testing North Korea

Before North Korea decided to restart its nuclear weapons facilities in 2002, this blue-ribbon group of experts voiced its concern that North Korea would do just that. It warns in this report that progress made on the Korean Peninsula was fragile and “diplomatic gains achieved by the United States and South Korea in the past decade are not irreversible.” Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions could raise tensions and produce the kind of confrontation that almost led to war in 1994. It could also lead Pyongyang to lift its self-imposed moratorium on ballistic missile tests. To head off these dangers, the Task Force urges that the Bush administration treat North Korea as a foreign policy priority and for what it is: both a fragile and a dangerous power. The Task Force recommends that the United States and its allies in the region use both economic carrots and sticks in working with Pyongyang.

See more in North Korea

Task Force Report No. 24

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

This report argues that, in spite of tenisons, the United States should continue to support South Korea's engagement policy and keep the comprehensive Perry proposal on the table. The Task Force recommends that North Korea might be further opened by certain symbolic changes in U.S. economic sanctions policy. However, the Task Force warns that while diplomacy with the North should not be cut off because of another missile launch, the United States and its allies would be forced by a launch to take a new approach to Pyongyang.

See more in Asia and Pacific

Task Force Report No. 17

Managing Change on the Korean Peninsula

The Korean peninsula remains one of the most heavily armed and dangerous places in the world. Despite its deteriorating economy, North Korea retains a standing army of over one million men and an enormous arsenal of artillery and missiles, most of them as close to Seoul, the South Korean capital, as Dulles Airport is to downtown Washington, DC. In 1994, the United States and North Korea almost went to war over the North’s nuclear program. Since then, Washington and Seoul have attempted to cap North Korea’s nuclear ambitions through the Agreed Framework, but the threat from the North remains.

See more in South Korea; North Korea

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