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PacNet #45 – Firmness and Realism Needed on North Korea

November 20, 1998

As President Clinton visits Seoul, it is high time to review creaking American policies toward the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. A “soft landing” is a wish, not a policy. Equally, the administration’s pride, the four year old “Agreed Framework” despite worthy success in freezing a part of North Korea’s nuclear weapons efforts, is also much less than a complete policy and may have failed on some of its own terms. Finally, the “Four Party Talks” have accomplished nothing other than to be an indirect vehicle for providing new levels of food aid in return for North Korean attendance.