As U.S. lawmakers criticized
the Clinton administration's Agreed Framework as ineffective, President Clinton
assigned former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry to lead a comprehensive
review of U.S. policy toward North Korea.
After analysis by an eight-member
U.S. review team, a 1999 trip to Pyongyang to discuss the North's concerns and
consultation with the governments of South Korea, China and Japan, the team recommended
a give-and-take strategy, which Perry called the "carrot and stick approach."
As a result of the Perry report, the United States partially lifted sanctions
on North Korea in 1999 in exchange for the North's promise to freeze its nuclear
weapons and ballistic missile programs. However, the U.S. warned that if the North
refused to go down the "positive path," further actions would be taken
to "contain the threat."
October 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled to North Korea
to discuss concerns about the country's missile program. Albright's visit included
meetings with Kim Jong Il, making her the first American official to meet directly
with the reclusive communist leader as well as the highest-ranking administration
official to visit the country.
"You know, we were at war with North
Korea 50 years ago. Since then we have considered it among the most dangerous
places in the world," Albright said after her visit in a NewsHour interview.
"We have 37,000 troops on the Korean Peninsula. It's a remnant of
the Cold War, and if we have an opportunity to break this last barrier, I think
it will be a very important step forward..." Albright added.
Albright's visit, there was speculation that President Clinton himself might visit
North Korea to pursue negotiations on a bilateral treaty to end North Korea's
ballistic missile weapons program. But in December 2000, the White House announced
that the president would not be able to make the trip before leaving office in
"There is not enough time while I am president to prepare
the way for an agreement with North Korea that advances our national interest
and provides the basis for a trip by me to Pyongyang," Clinton said of the