May 23, 2024
Opinion

Head in the Sand

"We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

After news of North Korea’s second nuclear text explosion in May 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated "we will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in the region or on us…we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”  Ten months later, however, there are very few signs that North Korea has been impressed by such warnings.

On the contrary, Pyongyang has since declared the successful reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods, drawn attention to progress in its uranium-enrichment program, and given Special U.S. Representative for North Korean Policy Stephen W. Bosworth no indication of a resumption of negotiations any time soon.  So where does the international community go with North Korea from here?

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