August 11, 2022

Washington can learn to live with a nuclear-armed North Korea

The U.S. should support inter-Korean projects as a step towards this reality

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s five-day swing in Washington, D.C. couldn’t come at a more delicate time for the former human rights lawyer. Moon has seen his job approval rating dip from the low 80s to the mid 30s over the last three years, a decline due in part to the Seoul’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout and a cost-of-living crisis that the South Korean public feels has gotten worse.

These immediate concerns notwithstanding, turning the Korean Peninsula into a peace zone remains Moon Jae-in’s biggest legacy item. South Korean officials have expressed guarded optimism about the completion of the Biden administration’s North Korea policy review, believing the reference to a gradual and practical diplomatic approach holds a better chance of success than President Donald Trump’s top-down style.