Saturday, August 22, 2009

7 steps the U.S. government could take with North Korea

A Huffington Post article suggesting how to respond to North, as a recurring problem for American diplomacy. Seven steps that the U.S. government could take in promoting peace and stability on the peninsula.

• Keep expectations low. Diplomatic progress is possible, but counting on concessions from the North is more likely to yield frustration.

• Talk to North Korea. Refusing to talk is a grade-school tactic that has gotten the U.S. nowhere.

• Beware making the perfect the enemy of the good. Although a nuclear-free peninsula remains a worthy goal, a freeze might be a more realistic objective in the short-term.

• Treat North Korean provocations with bored contempt.

• Let other countries, which have the most at stake, take the lead.

• Press China in particular to take a more active and forceful role.

• Withdraw U.S. forces from South Korea. Eliminating America's military presence on the peninsula would be the strongest possible signal to Beijing that it need not fear the security consequences of pressing the North to deal and reform, even at the risk of a state collapse.

Lastly, remember that the life expectancy of North Korea’s leader may be shorter than the legal term of America's leader.

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