The Cable

Former U.S. negotiator: Learn to live with a nuclear North Korea (for now)

As the Obama administration struggles about whether or not to reengage the North Koreans by sending Amb. Stephen Bosworth to Pyongyang,  experts over at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies are getting ready to release a new prescription for U.S. policy there. The paper (pdf), principally authored by former North Korea negotiator Joel ...

As the Obama administration struggles about whether or not to reengage the North Koreans by sending Amb. Stephen Bosworth to Pyongyang,  experts over at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies are getting ready to release a new prescription for U.S. policy there.

The paper (pdf), principally authored by former North Korea negotiator Joel Wit, lays out a framework for renewing an approach with Kim Jong Il‘s regime. It argues that the United States must take action before a new and unpredictable North Korean leader ascends, that America must live with a nuclear North Korea without accepting its status as a nuclear state for the time being and that the Obama administration must avoid overreaching for ambitious goals while seeking incremental steps that could improve relations.

"The idea, when we started this report in April just after the missile test, was to chart a course back to dialogue that the administration could use in the future," said Wit, "since we all knew that was what would eventually happen."

One idea that apparently won’t work is South Korean President Lee Myung-bak‘s suggestion of a "Grand Bargain" with the North to resolve all outstanding issues, which the North Koreans rejected recently through their public statement Web site.

 Twitter: @joshrogin
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