Arguing against the view that “coercive measures” or “neglect approaches” work, this article suggests ways to utilize “positive engagement” as a cooperative measure for reducing threats and facilitating the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Thus far, tactics for avoiding lethal confrontation on the Korean peninsula have been based heavily on coercion with a lack of genuine negotiation, and such measures are clearly unstable and conflict-prone. Instead, the positive engagement approach aims to achieve the peaceful transformation and social rehabilitation of North Korea. In order to prevent future conflict, the self-imposed isolation of North Korea and the antagonistic attitude of Pyongyang must be subverted through a judicious combination of aid and deterrence. North Korea must be encouraged to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, with a strong emphasis on transparency. The most appropriate policy for effectively dealing with North Korea is a bold, open approach that combines positive engagement with a genuine willingness to negotiate, with the ultimate goal of preventing nuclear proliferation and other potentially dangerous situations. In this context, the “Nunn-Lugar” concept may be a viable option, allowing supervising states to enact control measures that are very difficult to reverse.
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