Why the US Must Shift Its North Korea Policy from Disarmament to Deterrence   [open pdf - 207KB]

"After 11 September 2001, America's top priority shifted from selective engagement to defending the peace against its enemies, particularly terrorists and tyrants. In its 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), the Bush administration established a primary objective from which all other objectives seem to originate: Prevent Our Enemies from Threatening Us, Our Allies, and Our Friends with Weapons of Mass Destruction.1 The Bush administration viewed North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program with increased scrutiny and began to question whether or not Pyongyang could be deterred from taking unwanted actions. North Korea's recently disclosed nuclear weapons program, rampant proliferation of long-range ballistic missiles, hatred of the United States, disrespect for human values, and global sales of missile technology to terrorist groups and other rogue states has made it a high-level threat to the national security of the United States and a subject of continuous of debate in Washington and among the media. Because of the high risks of deterring rogue nations and non-state actors, the Bush Administration adopted a strategic objective of disarmament. The NSS implies that if diplomacy does not work in North Korea and Kim Jong Il does not disarm peacefully, he will be forcibly disarmed by the United States and a coalition of 'the willing.'"

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