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Kim's Nuclear Gamble
teachers guide

Student Assignment Sheet: Kim's Nuclear Gamble

Charting Escalation

Teacher Directions: During the negotiations, whenever either side says something that escalates the tensions and differences, the "stairway" below can graphically represent what is happening. Students or the teacher can draw the stairway on the board (or the teacher can make a copy for each student). When a statement appears to escalate tensions, write a key word from that statement on the stairway to remind everyone of the words and issues that precipitated the escalation. As discussion advances, be prepared for disagreements and even arguments about what constitutes and provokes escalation. Encourage dialogue since that, of course, is the essence of negotiation!

The goal is to remain as low as possible on the "stairway." Approaching the top means impending disaster!


  • If you are North Korea, you would probably note President Bush's characterization of your country as part of the axis of evil as an escalation.
  • If you are the United States, you would probably note what you perceive as North Korea's abandonment of the Agreed Framework as an escalation.

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