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PacNet #13 – Korean Nuclear Crisis: Benefits of a Multilateral Approach

While the Iraqi situation worsens with the prospect of imminent war, the world’s attention is being drawn to the Northeast Asia region. Last October, North Korea’s nuclear development program using highly enriched uranium was revealed. Sin3ce then, North Korea has taken a series of actions to the concern of the international community: it has unfrozen nuclear facilities by removing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) surveillance equipment, expelled IAEA inspectors, announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and reactivated the 5MW nuclear plant in Yongbyong. North Korea has also threatened to reconsider its commitment to the Armistice Agreement of 1953. All these measures have left North Korea’s nuclear development program unchecked and have raised the level of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.