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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

More Than Meets the Eye: What the North Korean Nuclear Crisis Portends for East Asian Security

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2005, v.45 no.4, pp.112-142

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Abstract

The North Korean nuclear program is riding on its organizational and political momentum. Unless it is resolved within a reasonably short period of time, the momentum will push the program past the threshold; i.e., to the testing of nuclear bombs. This would not only precipitate an acute international crisis, but also result in region-wide nuclear proliferation with profound implications for the security and stability of not only just the East Asian region but the entire world. To minimize such dangers, participants in the six-party talks should bear in mind the following and act accordingly.First, the international coalition led by the U.S. should offer a package to North Korea that integrates both credible and realistic promises of reward that North Korea would get if they comply and credible threats of punishment, including the international sanctions they would face if they cross the clearly set red-line. Second, the credibility of the position will be maintained and enhanced if the participants form a common front to play diplomatic games vis--vis North Korea. Third, given the diverse and often conflicting interests among regional powers, it would not be easy to form such a common front. Yet collaboration to form a common front is possible and likely if regional powers somehow foster the norms of, and develop the institutions of, multilateralism. Fourth, to foster the norms of multilateralism, the regional powers need to approach the North Korean issue not just from the narrow perspective of proliferation, but from a much broader perspective of regional and international security order.

keywords
North Korea nuclear proliferation East Asia regional security order future of world politics unipolar world balance of power North Korea nuclear proliferation East Asia regional security order future of world politics unipolar world balance of power

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