Nuclear Issues

189 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.

Photo of U.S. and North Korean flags on sale in Hanoi, Vietnam.

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

U.S. -North Korea Summitry – Lowering the Bar for a Win-Win?

| Feb. 25, 2019

John Park, Director of the Belfer Center's Korea Project, previews what he believes will take place during the 2nd U.S.-North Korea Summit on February 27-28 in Hanoi.  Compared to the 'fire and fury' war threats of 2017, he says, the recent exchange of letters between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un have laid the groundwork for a sequel to the Singapore Summit in June 2018.

The delegation of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry led by Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, left, meets with North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Feb. 13, 2019 (Cha Song Ho/Associated Press).

Cha Song Ho/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Trump-Kim 2: Why Hanoi?

| Feb. 15, 2019

It was finally revealed by Trump via his usual communication channel – Twitter – that Hanoi was the venue for the much-anticipated meeting. It is most likely that the choice of venue was made with consent from Kim; thus the decision also gave clues as to North Korea’s intentions in participating in, and plans for the upcoming Hanoi summit.