Dealing With North Korea: “Diplomatic Warfare” Ahead

By Joel S. Wit

U.S. presidents have struggled with the challenges posed by a hostile North Korea since the end of the Korean War and with the dangers of a nuclear North since the mid-1980s. The diplomatic struggle over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program has had many ups and downs, from the near outbreak of a second war in 1994 to an agreement a few months later to end the nuclear program, from the prospect of a visit to Pyongyang by President Bill Clinton in 2000 to the breakdown of the 1994 agreement in 2002 and the North Korean nuclear test in 2006, from limited arrangements over the past few years that have constrained Pyongyang’s plutonium production program to recent disputes over verification.

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