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Foreign Affairs: "How to Deal with North Korea"

"The proper approach," James T. Laney and Jason T. Shaplen suggest in this article, "is to now re-engage with North Korea without rewarding it for bad behavior." (Foreign Affairs, March/April 2003)

The Progressive: "Negotiate with North Korea"

This editorial argues that the Bush administration should "shelve its military plans, dispense with the belligerent rhetoric," and begin bilateral negotiations with North Korea. (The Progressive, March 2003)

National Journal: "Yes, Bush has a policy on North Korea. It might even work."

Jonathan Rauch argues that America should delay any plans for bilateral talks with North Korea. (National Journal, March 18, 2003)

Excerpt: The End of North Korea by Nicholas Eberstadt

Posted on The New York Times Web site, this is the first chapter of Eberstadt's book, in which he argues for ending cooperation with North Korea. "[I]n an era of 'conflict resolution,' 'dialogue,' and diplomatists, the North Korean government has unmistakably demonstrated its preference for the use of raw political force to achieve its objectives," Eberstadt writes.

Commentary: "Facing Up to North Korea"

Joshua Muravchik critiques some of the more popular proposals for ending the impasse between the U.S. and North Korea and argues that waging war on the North Korean regime may be an appropriate alternative. (Commentary, March 2003)

The New Republic: "Two-Front Solution"

Robert Lane Greene argues that the Bush administration cannot afford to apply different rules to North Korea and Iraq. "The president's official national security strategy outlines a 'Bush doctrine,' which commits America to preempting threats from hostile countries," Greene writes. "But inaction on North Korea sends the signal that we mean what we say, except when we don't." (The New Republic Online, March 11, 2003)

The Weekly Standard: "Rogue State Rollback"

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) argues here that the Bush administration has bungled its North Korea policy through a confused and overly conciliatory approach. "This rapid deterioration of our resolve is as reckless as it is disingenuous," McCain writes. (The Weekly Standard, Jan. 20, 2003)

Asia Times: "Straight Shooter and Loss of Face"

In this critique of the U.S. administration's apparent inability to grasp fundamental realities and nuances in Korean diplomacy, Gary LaMoshi writes, "People in Asia take face very seriously, and the loss of face even more so. When Bush met with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and questioned the wisdom of the Nobel laureate's 'Sunshine Policy' toward the North, it wasn't just an insult to the only statesman in the room, it was a slap at North Korea." (Asia Times, Jan. 8, 2003)

1994 Agreed Framework

The text of the agreement signed by the U.S. and North Korea after bilateral talks in Geneva.

The Perry Report: "Review of United States Policy Toward North Korea: Findings and Recommendations" (October 1999)

In 1998, President Clinton asked former Defense Secretary William Perry to review America's North Korea policy. This is an unclassified version of the report Perry submitted in October 1999, in which he concluded that "the urgent focus of U.S. policy toward the DPRK must be to end its nuclear weapons and long-range missile-related activities," and suggested a two-path strategy to deal with North Korea in which the U.S. and North Korea would gradually negotiate both an end to North Korea's weapons program and the normalization of relations between the two countries.

The Armitage Report: "A Comprehensive Approach to North Korea" (March 1999)

In this March 1999 report, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says that since the 1994 Agreed Framework, relations between the U.S. and North Korea have deteriorated. Armitage outlines his proposals for moving forward with the regime in North Korea, and ultimately concludes that preemptive action may be necessary. "Should diplomacy fail, the United States would have to consider two alternative courses, neither of which is attractive," Armitage writes. "One is to live with and deter a nuclear North Korea armed with delivery systems, with all its implications for the region. The other is preemption, with the attendant uncertainties."

Statement: U.S. Will Pursue "Serious Discussions" With North Korea

On June 6, 2001, President George W. Bush announced his decision to pursue "serious discussions" with North Korea regarding its nuclear activities and missile programs. "Our approach will offer North Korea the opportunity to demonstrate the seriousness of its desire for improved relations," Bush said. "If North Korea responds affirmatively and takes appropriate action, we will expand our efforts to help the North Korean people, ease sanctions, and take other political steps."

Statement: U.S. Responds to DPRK's Admission of Uranium Enrichment Program

After North Korean officials admitted to Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly in October 2002 that they had a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, the State Department issued this statement on Oct. 16, 2002. "Over the summer, President Bush -- in consultation with our allies and friends -- had developed a bold approach to improve relations with North Korea," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "In light of our concerns about the North's nuclear weapons program, however, we are unable to pursue this approach."

Statement: North Korea Withdraws From 1994 Framework Agreement

In this Oct. 25, 2002, statement announcing the DPRK's withdrawal from the 1994 Framework Agreement, the spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry asserts his country's rights to develop nuclear weapons and accuses the U.S. of acting recklessly.

The New York Review of Books: "A Visit to North Korea"

In a moving account of her first visit to North Korea, Suki Kim, a young author who was born in South Korea and now lives in New York, writes of her impressions of life in North Korea -- from the surreal and everpresent images of Kim Jong Il to her remarkable meetings with some of the country's beloved "revolutionaries." (The New York Review of Books, Feb. 13, 2003)

The New Yorker: "Following the Great Leader"

Following the 1994 death of Kim Il Sung, Ian Buruma wrote this article for The New Yorker in which he traces the mythology surrounding the "Great Leader" and his son, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il. "Now that the Great Leader is dead, his son's succession rests on the assumption of divine right," Buruma writes. "How can a dynastic succession be thus justified in a society supposedly based on scientific socialism? The question points up one of the contradictions that make North Korea such a peculiar place: Marxism-Leninism has been grafted onto a charismatic, nativist cult." (The New Yorker, Sept. 19, 1994)

The Connection: "North Korea" (audio)

In profiling what it calls a "pariah nation," NPR's The Connection asks its guests to relate what they know about life in North Korea. Tony Namkung, a senior scholar at the Atlantic Council of the United States, says that he has never sensed that North Koreans live in fear under Kim Jong Il. He says that "North Korea society is definitely a closed society in the sense that it looks inward and it strives to keep foreigners out, but it's not nearly as abnormal as most people think." (The Connection, April 2, 2001)

Life After Tyranny: "Happy Birthday, North Korea"

Featured on NPR's Talk of the Nation and profiled in several newspapers, Simon Bone's "Life After Tyranny" is an online project documenting what he calls "places in transition from authoritarian rule." In September 1998, Bone visited North Korea. "It came as a bit of a surprise to me that my first beer in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea would be a Schlitz, brewed by American imperialist aggressors in Milwaukee," writes Bone in the first of his three-part series on North Korea. "'Would it be possible to have some Korean beer?' I asked the guide. 'I don't think so, because the wheat is being used for the food shortage.'"

Korea Times: "The Dawn of Modern Korea"

An ongoing series of articles about Korean history and life in both the North and South. The latest article, from April 2003, is about what's called the 1960 April Revolution -- when Syngman Rhee, the South's former pro-democracy advocate turned dictator, was finally ousted after violent protests. Reporter Andrei Lankov writes, among other things, about U.S. involvement in the revolution, which he says is one of the few events in modern political history on which both North and South Koreans agree.

CanKor: "Impressions of a Week in North Korea"

"In recent times there have been many harsh words said about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by newspaper columnists who follow Washington's line in international affairs," writes Stephen Endicott, a scholar at Canada's York University who spent a week in North Korea as part of a documentary film crew. "Their words, it seems to me, are largely based on ignorance or prejudice. Even from a very short visit there I think it can be safely said that North Korea is a country more sinned against than sinning." (CanKor, December 2002)

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "Letter From Pyongyang"

Written anonymously, this article from the July/August 2002 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists paints a picture of everyday life inside North Korea, from descriptions of its well-dressed inhabitants to the ubiquitous effects of drought. "Children are said to be kings in North Korea," the author writes. "What is odd about the children, though, is the way they look -- or more often do not look -- at an outsider. Either a foreigner is subjected to a hate-filled stare, or he is invisible. Many younger children believe their lessons -- that all Westerners are imperialists who want to crush Korea." (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 2002)

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "The Wind Farm in the Cabbage Patch"

This May/June 1999 article describes life inside North Korea from the perspective of a team of American energy researchers who went to North Korea to help set up wind generators. (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, May/June 1999)

Time Asia: "Northern Exposure"

A critique of the North Korean government's proposed economic reforms, told partly in first-hand accounts from disillusioned North Koreans. One, a starving teenager, went to China in search of food for his family; another, a young woman, abandoned North Korea due to the rising food prices and now lives in a safe house in China. "North Korea watchers say rebellion -- whether it is a mass revolt or a surgical strike from inside the Party or military -- can only occur if people are prepared to die for it," writes reporter Donald MacIntyre. "They say it is impossible to predict when or if North Koreans will achieve the mix of desperation and bravery necessary for combustion." (Time Asia, Nov. 4, 2002)

AsiaWeek: "Report From Another World"

Tokyo-based reporter Antonio Pagnotta visited North Korea without authorization or escort in order to determine the realities of life within. "It was impossible to tell what the educated officials thought," Pagnotta wrote. "But as for the soldiers, you could see it [in] the way they checked for dust on the frames of Kim's ubiquitous portraits and the rapt attention they gave to his image on TV. From that belief, they found the strength to overcome every difficulty. And so North Korea survives." (AsiaWeek, Feb. 2, 2001)

Council on Foreign Relations: The Crisis

A backgrounder on the current nuclear dispute between the U.S. and North Korea. North Korea Special Weapons Guide

Background and details on North Korea's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and facilities, as well as the extent of the country's missile technologies.

Chronology: North Korean Nuclear Developments

From the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies, this timeline covers events from 1947 to 1999.

IAEA: Korea Resources

Information about the International Atomic Energy Association's activities in North Korea, including reports, fact sheets, and background on the various issues.

CEIP: Korean Peninsula

A compilation of various resources from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), including issue briefs, links to treaties and international agreements, and the CIA's biannual report to Congress titled "Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Advanced Conventional Munitions." Of note is the chapter on North Korea from the CEIP's publication "Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction."

Monterey Institute of International Studies: North Korea Special Collection

Many articles about the standoff between the U.S. and North Korea, from the Monterey Institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Among other articles and features, the site includes links to maps of suspected nuclear facilities, along with research papers that explore how some U.S. allies view the conflict.

Workshop on North Korea's Nuclear Program

The Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace co-sponsored this January 2003 workshop on North Korea's nuclear program. Several research papers from the workshop -- about how to negotiate with the North Koreans and the state of their facilities, among other topics -- are available online.

Report: "Ballistic Missiles and Missile Defense in Asia" (PDF)

In this June 2002 report, researchers from the National Bureau of Asian Research compare North Korea's missile capabilities with those of its neighbors and detail its efforts to sell and acquire further missile technology.

NTI: North Korea Country Profile

From the Nuclear Threat Initiative, this site includes information on nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons development in North Korea. Along with maps of the suspected facilities, it also has information about North Korea's exports and imports of weapons technology.

The New Yorker: "The Cold Test"

This article by Seymour Hersh examines the links between Pakistan -- an important U.S. ally on the war on terrorism -- and North Korea's nuclear program. Hersh traces the successive U.S. administrations' failed diplomacy and faulty intelligence about the North Korean program, and quotes a recent conversation with an American intelligence official: "[The official] cautioned against relying on the day-to-day Administration statements that emphasize a quick settlement of the dispute. ... 'Bush and Cheney want that guy's head' -- Kim Jong Il's -- 'on a platter. Don't be distracted by all this talk about negotiations. There will be negotiations, but they have a plan, and they are going to get this guy after Iraq. He's their version of Hitler.'" (The New Yorker, Jan. 27, 2003)

Chronology: A Short History of the U.S.-North Korea Conflict

From our partners at FRONTLINE/World, this timeline traces U.S.-North Korean relations from 1948 -- when Korea gained its independence from Japan -- to the current standoff over nuclear weapons.

The Atlantic Monthly: "Time to End the Korean War"

While debating the nature and implications of an "American empire" has now become commonplace, Bruce Cumings, in this February 1997 article, seems to presage the debate. "As for Americans, we need to take a hard look at the dangers of our many far-flung responsibilities," Cumings wrote, arguing that it was time to bring Americans home from the Korean peninsula. "Fifty years ago, when the Truman Administration took upon itself one global commitment after another, the eminent historian Charles Beard counseled 'a prudent recognition and calculation of the limits on power,' lest the United States suffer 'a terrible defeat in a war' -- and become like the 'wrecks of overextended empires scattered through the centuries.'" (The Atlantic, February 1997)

New Left Review: "North Korea in the Vice"

"The task of negotiating with the DPRK -- desperately poor, yet fiercely proud -- is one of the utmost delicacy," writes Gavan McCormack, professor of East Asian history at the Australian National University, in this in-depth article that touches on many of the main issues of contention between the U.S. and North Korea. (New Left Review, November-December 2002) Special Report: Two Koreas's portal covers many areas, from Korean history to the Stalinist economy of the North and Kim Jong Il's cult of personality. Also from, Part 5 of its Cold War series is on Korea, and the companion Web site has many interesting features, including a comparison of the divergent Western and Eastern media coverage of MacArthur's role in the Korean conflict.

OPLAN 5027: U.S. Contingency Plans in Event of Attack on South Korea

Background on and reasoning for the U.S.'s "basic warplan" in the event of an outbreak of hostilities on the Korean peninsula.

Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization

The website for KEDO, the entity created by the Agreed Framework to provide North Korea with alternative sources of energy.



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