Positive Economic Inducements in Future Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Positive Economic Inducements in Future Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Any future negotiations with North Korea will need to consider the role of economic incentives and rewards for making progress in meeting US goals of reducing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons capabilities and risk of proliferation. This will require shaping a nuanced balance between the role of measures to maintain pressure to negotiate versus incentives and rewards that are meaningful to the North Koreans and have traction in the negotiations process. Changes in North Korea’s economic circumstances, external relations environment and domestic political context in recent years need to be taken into account when designing a strategy that relates to current North Korean leadership interests and challenges. Doing so will increase the chances of new negotiations being more successful in meeting US goals than previous efforts.

This paper explores considerations for selecting positive inducements that will support a negotiation strategy that leads to a sustainable political solution to North Korea’s nuclear threats and that will position North Korea to pursue its economic future in ways that are compatible with reduced isolation and increased integration with the international community.

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The views expressed in this publication are of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the US-Korea Institute at SAIS.

This publication results from research supported by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC) via Assistance Grant/Agreement No. N00244-14-1-0024 awarded by the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego (NAVSUP FLC San Diego). The views expressed in written materials or publications, and/or made by speakers, moderators, and presenters, do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Naval Postgraduate School nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.

This North Korea’s Nuclear Futures Series was also made possible by support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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