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Securing U.S. Objectives in North Korea: A Memo to President-elect Obama

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Publication Date: January 2009

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Bruce Klingner; Walter Lohman

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)
International relations (International peace and security)

Keywords: Presidential transition; Diplomacy; Foreign relations

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States Korea (North)


North Korean denuclearization is a critically important goal, but how it is attained is equally important. Being excessively eager to compromise not only rewards abhorrent behavior, but also undermines the negotiating leverage that is necessary to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons. An engagement policy toward North Korea should be based on several key negotiating precepts.