North Korea And The New Administration Essay

, Research Paper

Half a century ago, war erupted in Korea on June 25,1950, along the thirty-eight parallel that separated North and South Korea, The Korean War set all the rules for East/West superpower conflict in the nuclear age. And in so doing brought the world closer to an all out atomic race that is still proliferating today.

The international community today is witnessing an increasing spread in weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Especially, the nuclear threat of the ambiguous North Koreans, which have the capabilities of striking South Korea, Japan, and the Continental United States.

Last year the U.S. came close to reaching an agreement that would have ended its development and export of ballistic missiles and related technologies under the Clinton Administration. But time ran out before an agreement could be finalized. Talks have recently resumed from a visit by President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea with President Bush on March 6. The Bush Administration is undertaking what it calls a through review of American policy towards North Korea and its president Kim Jong II. It is clear that the Bush Administration is taking a far harder line than the Clinton Administration did in 1994 that tried unsuccessfully, to close a deal on missile control before they left office.

The Bush Administration has called for ?verification? of compliance with the 1994 Geneva agreement, as well as new agreements for doing away with production, testing and sale of missiles and other weapons of mass destruction. At the same time

Washington is demanding reciprocity from the North for gestures of good will by South Korea and the United States. However, there is much skepticism on the different views that each side poses on the right strategy and policy aim at North Korea. Douglas Paal, who heads the Asian Pacific Policy Center said, ?Bush is like a cop and Kim Jung is like a priest.? ?The cop wants to get the North Koreans disarmed and off the streets, while the priest wants to give him the resource to become a very different person?

(NY Times ,March 6).

As President Kim Dae Jung sees no safe or sane alternative to the course on which the Koreans will embark. Surely, the art of diplomacy has been a rocky and uncertain journey. However, for Kim and his ?Sunshine Policy?, it has only brought a relaxation of tensions along the demilitarized zone luckily so far.

The Bush Administration is committed to a national missile defense (NMD) that will protect against an accidental or unauthorized launch. It also would remove the ability of North Korea to blackmail or intimidate, and defend against any states that may use the threat of missiles to prevent U.S. action. It will deter missiles and nuclear proliferation and, it will give the president better options in a crisis.

Mr. Bush intends to deploy missile defenses and his appointment of Mr. Rumsfeld shows he is serious. No one is more committed to a national missile defense than the man who chaired the commission that defined the threat. The administration plan is to continue the current land-based NMD program, while modifying it to add sea-based and space-based elements, leading to a highly effective layered defense.

A national missile defense is needed to protect the people and territory of this country against death and destruction from any source, but also give the president the freedom of action he needs to defend U.S. interest and allies. Although, every effort should be made to prevent a war that would involve so many Americans, but the best prevention is a strong defense. While the North Korea issues one of its toughest warnings on March 15, against the U.S., ?Don?t Make a Mistake? that the ?communists pledged a thousand fold revenge? if ?the US imperialists turn confrontation?

(The NY Times, March 15, 2001).

It is hard to recall a time when there was as much uncertainty about America?s foreign policy strategy as the situation we confront now. Our foreign relations are frayed or weak worldwide. The Bush Administration has its hand full in getting U.S. foreign policy on a coherent track. President Bush does not need to make a false choice between negotiating a missile agreement with the North Korea and pursuing his already stated intention to build a NMD. It will take considerable time to develop and test virtually any NMD system. However, the Administration must realize that a missile agreement with North Korea as we have just read is beyond reach and the 1994 Agreed Framework is beyond repairable. If, as President Bush stated, North Korea does pose a threat to the U.S., then negotiations should not resume again. The Bush Administration should quickly, push ahead and build a missile defense as part of the top agenda for discussion to defend America, against any missile threats from countries like North Korea. Perhaps the irony behind this logic approach is that North Korea would realize that reciprocity has ended and now it is time for deterrence.

Work CitedSanger, David E. ? Korean to Visit Bush, but They Could Be at Odds.? New York Times 6 March 2001, sec. A10

Kirk, Don. ? North Korea Turns Up the Heat; Calls U.S. a nation of Cannibals.? New York Times 14 March 2001, sec. A8

Pinkston, Daniel A. ?DPRK Economic Reforms and U.S. Security Policy in Not?? World Wide Web:[ Documenting source on the Internet] (Cited March 13, 2001) {}

Higgins, Holley. ?Stay the Course on North Korea?. World Wide Web [Documenting Source on the Internet] (Cited March 13, 2001) {}

Hackett, James T. ? Unabated North Korea menace?. World Wide Web:[ Documenting source on the Internet] (Cited March 12, 2001) {}

Clay, Blair. The Fogotten War: America in Korea. New York: Time Life Books,1987.

Calder Kent E. ?The New Faces of Northeast Asia.? Foreign Affairs Jan / Feb 2001 Vol. 80 No.1, 2 March 2001: 106-122.


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