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The North Korean Nuclear Program and Peace Process
Author: Scott Snyder
Region: Asia
Location: Korea, North
Published May 25, 2011
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The history of the first of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation crises has received considerable attention and analysis. The regional implications of a nuclear North Korea were signaled clearly and repeatedly in 1993 and 1994, as the alarm bell rang in response to a head-on confrontation between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that was finally eased through a negotiated bilateral agreement between the United States and the DPRK: the Geneva Agreed Framework. However, the second crisis has revealed a stark divergence of views regarding the lessons learned from the first crisis and the policy prescriptions for solving the second North Korean nuclear crisis that began in October of 2002. This paper will review the key elements of the North Korean program and how the handling and experience of the first North Korean nuclear crisis have influenced the current crisis, assess the current status of the North Korean program, posit a range of projections for the growth of the program through 2010, and discuss implications for a Korean peace process, which has been explicitly linked to the North Korean nuclear crisis through the latest diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks issued on 19 September 2005.

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