Report

Negotiating with North Korea: Key Lessons Learned from Negotiators' Genesis Period

| March 2024

Only a small handful of people in the world have sat at the negotiating table with the North Koreans and extensively interacted with them. Yet, this knowledge is fragmented and has not been collected or analyzed in a systematic manner. This report captures the findings from in-depth, one-on-one interviews with former senior negotiators from the United States and South Korea, who gained unique knowledge about North Korean negotiating behavior by dealing directly with their high-level North Korean counterparts.

These negotiators collectively represent a body of negotiation experience and expertise starting from the early 1990s to late 2019, when North Korea ceased all negotiations with the United States. During that time, the conditions for productive negotiation changed dramatically – indeed, the conditions for the 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework negotiations were much more favorable than during the Six-Party Talks of the mid-2000s or the Season of Summits during 2018-2019. For the “Negotiating with North Korea: Key Lessons Learned from Negotiators’ Genesis Period” project, a spotlight was placed on former senior negotiators’ early-stage experience preparing for and engaging in negotiations with the North Koreans. In doing so, tacit knowledge was captured to serve as a resource for future negotiators to inform and accelerate their own genesis period.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Park, John. “Negotiating with North Korea: Key Lessons Learned from Negotiators' Genesis Period.” , March 2024.