Present policy is producing no results

By Ted Galen Carpenter ( China Daily ) Updated: 2012-05-28 08:00:23

US leaders have painted themselves into a corner regarding policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. For more than two decades, Washington's strategy has been to offer Pyongyang a stark choice: give up its nuclear program or face ever-greater isolation from the international community. US President Barack Obama was especially blunt about presenting that alternative to the DPRK leaders during his early weeks in office.

That approach clearly has not worked. Indeed, the Obama administration has created the risk of the worst possible outcome: a DPRK that is a nuclear power, but which lacks meaningful international economic ties, and has no formal diplomatic or economic relations with the US. This is the blueprint for even more dangerous tensions on the Korean Peninsula and throughout East Asia than we face currently.

A new, radically different approach is needed. Instead of continuing the futile strategy of isolating the DPRK, Washington should adopt a comprehensive strategy to normalize relations with Pyongyang. And China has a crucial role to play as the primary facilitator in that process.

Present policy is producing no results

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