North Korea

Ask CFR Experts

Do North Korea’s nuclear capabilities give it a voice that cannot be ignored?

Asked by Yu Bum Kim, from New York University

Some argue that the best way to restrain North Korea is to strengthen sanctions, principally by putting more pressure on China to reduce its trade with North Korea. Others advocate a diplomatic approach and argue that engagement, not escalation, would be more effective. What all parties need to remember is that actions speak louder than words.

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See more in Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; United States; North Korea

Ask CFR Experts

Which option would be more effective in containing North Korea: Through unity with South Korea, diplomacy, or military intervention?

Asked by Seram Lee, from Pepperdine University

North Korea's ratcheting up of tensions requires South Korean and U.S. military forces in Korea to be prepared to defend against North Korean military incursions. Resumption of diplomacy will only be possible when North Korea signals it is ready to resume dialogue and all parties agree on an agenda that includes both tension-reduction and denuclearization.

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See more in North Korea; South Korea; Defense and Security; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Primary Sources

Remarks by Secretary Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, February 2013

Secretary John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave these remarks before their meeting on February 14, 2013. They outlined the main issues they would discuss: North Korea's nuclear test and Six Party Talks, negotiations with Iran, the crisis in Syria, and France's intervention in Mali.

See more in Mali; Syria; North Korea; International Organizations and Alliances

Article

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

Author: Scott A. Snyder
SERI Quarterly

"The complex evolution of the Obama administration's policy toward North Korea during its first term and the characteristics of President Obama's world view together provide a framework for considering what the administration is likely to do in a second term," says Scott A. Snyder.

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Transcript

Inside Korea

Speakers: Hyun In-taek and General Kim Tae-Young
Presider: Charles L. "Jack" Pritchard

Hyun In-taek and Kim Tae-young discuss their experiences managing crises on the Korean peninsula in 2010 and their policy recommendations for future U.S.-ROK cooperation.

See more in Defense and Security; South Korea; North Korea

Article

China-Korea Relations: China’s Post-Kim Jong Il Debate

Authors: Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun
Comparative Connections

Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun observe that while the twenty-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea may provide a pretext for more active diplomacy to meet a growing list of potential disputes in the relationship, high-level contacts between China and North Korea have stalled, dampening China's hopes for regional engagement.

See more in South Korea; China; North Korea