Nuclear Issues

89 Items

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Theory of Engagement With North Korea

| May 2019

At the Hanoi Summit in February 2019, the United States and North Korea reached a familiar impasse—diplomacy broke down over the appropriate order of near-term steps, and the world was left wondering whether any package of rewards would be enough to incentivize denuclearization.

In a new Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Christopher Lawrence outlines an alternative conceptual framework for engaging North Korea. Rather than offering rewards for nuclear rollback, the approach focuses on building credibility around the notion of a shared political future. Lawrence suggests that physical actions—such as shared investments in integrated rail, electricity, or mining infrastructure—speak more credibly about the political future for all the parties involved than do written commitments or more transient “carrots” and “sticks.” The international relationships created by infrastructure projects may alter North Korea's security calculus over time, and incrementally reduce its dependence on nuclear weapons. Drawing lessons from the 1994 Agreed Framework, Lawrence reinterprets the history of nonproliferation engagement with North Korea, and illuminates possible opportunities to break the diplomatic impasse after the Hanoi summit.

Trump and Kim shake hands at the Hanoi summit meeting on February 27, 2019 (Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo).

Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

After the Hanoi Summit: Next Steps for the US, North Korea, and Vietnam

| Mar. 02, 2019

In the aftermath of the Hanoi summit, it is important to assess how U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will proceed to avoid a collapse of the denuclearization process as well as how Vietnam can reap long-term benefits for its international profile and tourism industry. It may be the case that the Hanoi summit was a failure, but a necessary one in the context of growing unrealistic expectations from both Washington and Pyongyang. Vietnam still has a lot to do after the summit to continue contributing to North Korea’s reform and denuclearization.

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Reactions to Collapse of Trump-Kim Summit 2019

Feb. 28, 2019

Following the breakdown of  the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi, Belfer Center Korea experts Matthew Bunn, Nicholas Burns, Martin Malin, Joseph Nye, Gary Samore, Wendy Sherman, and Jon Wolfsthal react to the collapse of the talks and suggest steps the United States should take now.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns Speaks to CNBC About U.S.-North Korean Relations

CNBC

Analysis & Opinions - CNBC

You Have to Question Preparation That Went into Trump-Kim Summit, Says Pro

| Feb. 28, 2019

CNBC's "Closing Bell" team discusses the outcome of President Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Nicholas Burns, Harvard Kennedy School professor and former under secretary of state for political affairs, and Christopher Hill, University of Denver professor and former U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump Meets North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - WBUR

WBUR - February 28, 2019: Hour 1

| Feb. 28, 2019

The summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un ended Thursday without any deal. We discuss the implications with Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Also, Ed Burke, the dean of Chicago's City Council, was re-elected Tuesday to his 13th term in office, just weeks after FBI agents raided his offices. Burke has come to symbolize for some just how entrenched Chicago is in a culture of corruption. 

U.S. President Donald Trump Speaks During a Press Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28, 2019.

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump’s Comments on Otto Warmbier are a Reminder He Doesn’t Prioritize Human Rights

| Feb. 28, 2019

The Trump administration has never shown much interest in human rights. Last year, it pulled the United States out of the U.N. Human Rights Council. In 2017, within months of President Trump’s inauguration, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said diplomats should not let human rights values become “obstacles” to achieving national goals. Trump has spoken favorably about some of the world’s most vicious dictators.