Can We Still Negotiate with North Korea? A South Korean Perspective
APLN Policy Brief 50
The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.
The Korean Peninsula is back at the crossroads of war and peace. The root cause is North Korea’s illegal pursuit of its nuclear ambition that poses serious security threats to the peninsula, all of Northeast Asia and the world. While adhering to the principles of a “denuclearized North Korea” and “no more war on the Korean Peninsula,” President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has been advancing dialogue and negotiation, sanctions and pressure, defence and deterrence, and a more proactive role simultaneously. However, such efforts have not produced any tangible progress, fuelling speculation on military conflict. To get out of this deadlock requires talking to each other without mutual demonization. Frankness, two-way understanding and trust-building should be the basic guiding principles of a diplomatic approach. The nuclear issue should be treated as the most urgent agenda. The diplomatic approach must be practical and realistic. Goals for negotiations must be adjusted to changing circumstances and flexible negotiations should be another guideline. A mechanism for dialogue should be restored. US–North Korea bilateral dialogue is the most critical, but the Six Party Talks are still the most viable venue for negotiation. It is not possible to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons through a quick-fix solution. Instead we need to have a patient and long-term perspective.
About the Author
Chung-in Moon is Distinguished University Professor, Yonsei University and Special Advisor to President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea on Foreign Affairs and National Security. He is the Co-Convenor of APLN.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.