Independent Task Force Hails Bush’s New Public Policy on North Korea but Warns That Serious Challenges Lie Ahead

January 8, 2003

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June 11, 2001 – President Bush’s declared policy that the United States engage North Korea on broad security and economic issues represents a major step forward by the new administration, according to an Independent Task Force on Korea sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. The Task Force warns, however, that diplomatic gains achieved by the United States and South Korea in recent years are not irreversible, and has put forth a series of policy recommendations advising the Bush administration on how to implement the Agreed Framework with North Korea.

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Co-chaired by Ambassador Morton Abramowitz and Ambassador James Laney, the Independent Task Force includes other prominent bipartisan foreign policy experts, former ambassadors to Korea, former assistant secretaries of state for East Asia and the Pacific, and a number of former senior officials from the previous Bush and Clinton Administrations, as well as former senior military commanders. A full list of participants can be obtained by contacting Jacob Ulevich at (202) 518-3403.

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The Council’s Independent Task Force on Korea has been in existence since 1997. It has issued two full reports and two letters to the President. This executive summary is the Task Force’s fifth intervention into public policy, and the Task Force will release its full findings in the coming weeks. For full text of previous task force reports, see Council Publications at cfr.org.

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