Executive SummaryUnder Kim’s regime, it is worth highlighting that the pace of North Korea’s technological advancement in weaponry has quickened. This poses a great threat to the world security. The situation has been exacerbated by the lack of high level communication between North Korea and the world leaders.
The best policy would be to re-establish the critical link of communication between North Korea and the world leaders, in particular with the US.What’s the problem?North Korea’s nuclear advancement has been a source of deep concern for the international community. Kim’s regime has successfully conducted several nuclear tests in recent years despite multiple efforts to curtail it. Along the years, the yield of the bomb has been increasing. The most recent September 2016 test has portrayed a device with an explosive yield of between 10 to 30 kilotonnes. It was claimed by Kim that its January 2016 test was of a hydrogen bomb, which is stronger than the traditional atomic bomb. However, Pyongyang would need to be able to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on to a missile, if he were to launch an attack on its neighbours. international experts have long cast suspicions on the claims that Pyongyang is now able to “miniaturised” the nuclear warheads.
Under such context, US intelligence officials has said it believed Pyongyang’s claim that it possesses the technology to “miniaturised” the nuclear warheads. An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland was tested by Pyongyang weeks before the release of such judgment. It is worth noting that the claim that the missile could reach Hawaii was supported by most experts, These development has indicated the severity of the issue that could cause catastrophic consequences to the international community if things go beyond control.
The main contributing factor that prompted Pyongyang to pursue the nuclear route was constant antagonism from the United States to its communist regime and the not-so-secretive support from the Chinese. Various sanctions has been imposed on North Korea by a slew of resolutions passed by The UN Security Council since its first nuclear test in 2006. China has halted most of coal imports from its ally, which is a crucial export of the Kim’s regime, in early March this year. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a device designed to detect and destroy intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles. US is planning a deployment of such device in South Korea soil. However, the deployment is most likely to attract strong and fierce oppositions from China, Russia and North Korea. Still, North Korea’s GDP grew to roughly $28.
6 billion, by nearly 4% in the year of 2016.What should policy makers do?Do nothing: Under the current status quos, North Korea refuses to talk to ready to talk to the United States unless it is recognised as a nuclear-weapon state. US refuses to talk unless North Korea denuclearise.
Hence, there will be no talks, but only threats and bluff. The situation is the least bad as long as there is no miscalculations from either side, but who can guarantees that.Persuade North Korea to return to 6-party talks negotiations:The pervasive sense of crisis that engulfs the Korean peninsula defies immediate solutions.
In order to prevent the Kim’s regime making further advancement in its weapons ambition, which is in violation of U.N. resolutions, there must be a new round of diplomacy with the Kim’s regime. A new round of dipoymacy seems to be a viable option.
Nonetheless, the old six-party-talks is difficult to achieve its ultimate objective, because there will be too many contradicting interests from the different players. In terms of feasibility, it is of bleak prospects that the Six-Party Talks can achieve the goal of denuclearisation of the Kim’s regime. It is undeniable that nuclear weapons is now an integral part of Kim’s regime identity. US to engage in direct bilateral talks with North Korea: The clear advantage of such policy is that both parties are directly involved in the negotiations. Most importantly, above all, Pyongyang wants a guarantee from the US about the region’s security and US is the only one who can give that promise. However, US should be aware that North Korea might go back against its promises just like how it did so during 2009 by unilaterally resuming its nuclear enrichment program. Thus, any agreement formed needs to be binding. In terms of feasibility, this plan is workable as long as Trump administration is willing to show the right attitude.
Recommendations The policy of engaging in direct bilateral talks with North Korea is the best option for US foreign office. Under such approach, US ought to consider sending a presidential envoy to North Korea. Such high-level negotiations appear to be what Pyongyang has been after for years. Talking should not be construed as a reward or a concession to Pyongyang, but simply a mechanism to address a thorny problem. Bilateral talks is a direct initiative to re-establish critical links of communication between the two parties, as to prevent a nuclear catastrophe. The US needs to shift to a different policy, which is containment instead of working tirelessly to denuclearise North Korea. Through negotiations and the deterrent power of the US military, the aim of such policy is to contain the threat of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, It should shift from the previous attempt to eliminate Pyongyang nuclear arsenal entirely.
Through bilateral talk, the US could guarantee North Korea with energy and economic assistance, respect its sovereignty, put an end to their military drill in South China Sea and pursue the normalization of diplomatic relations to entice North Korea to at least temporarily abandon its nuclear advancement ambition. It is not hard to see that North Korea wants ‘security guarantees’. As indicated by Mira Rapp-Hooper, a scholar at Yale Law School who studies East Asia security, “There is very little chance that we are ever going to talk Kim out of his nuclear weapons.” It’s high time for the US government to recognise the new reality. America is making the risk of a war that kills millions higher than it needs to be by insisting on an old policy that doesn’t work.
Bilateral talks will definitely help to inform a better strategy thus a more effective outcome. This may eventually convince the young Kim that Pyongyang is better off without nuclear weapons.