Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2009

Korea and Northeast Asia Peace and Security Framework

James Goodby, Jack N. Merritt

April 2007

Atlantic Council


The United States has few more important policy goals than eliminating North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The risk that the repressive Pyongyang regime could transfer nuclear weapons and materials to rogue states or terrorist groups weighs particularly heavy on the minds of U.S. policymakers.

U.S. negotiators in February 2007 achieved a breakthrough in the Six Party talks towards the goal of reversing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. The "joint agreement" - among the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia - set in motion a process for dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. But this agreement still leaves the parties a long distance from denuclearizing North Korea or resolving other fundamental security, political, and economic issues on the Korean peninsula. The report that follows describes a path and the elements of a comprehensive settlement to achieve the full range of U.S. strategic goals in Korea.