by Alan D. Romberg and Michael Swaine
For the United States, any negotiating strategy must aim to achieve the complete, verifiable abandonment by North Korea of its nuclear weapons program. It is by no means clear that North Korea will ultimately refuse to dismantle its nuclear program if it obtains political, security, and economic benefits sufficient to ensure regime survival for now, especially if the alternative appears to be a confrontation that could well lead to regime change. Therefore, any subsequent negotiations must be designed, first and foremost, to test the North’s willingness to give up that program. But over time, it will also be important to address the termination of any chemical and biological weapons programs and, eventually, the far broader question of reducing and redeploying conventional weapons. For the moment, however, focusing on the elimination of the nuclear weapons program and on constraining the missile delivery systems will be more than enough to handle and sufficient to quell the current crisis.