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U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

A photo showing a North Korean child suffering from famine. (File)
A photo showing a North Korean child suffering from famine. (File)

North Korea continues to violate its international obligations and commitments.

“[North Korea] continues to violate its international obligations and commitments,” Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies testified recently before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC. “Its human rights record remains deplorable. Its economy is stagnant. Its people are impoverished. It pours significant sums into nuclear and ballistic missile programs that are forbidden by the United Nations. The leadership’s choices are isolating North Korea from the international community.”

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea
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Ambassador Davies said, “the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s February 12 announcement of a nuclear test, which Pyongyang proclaimed was targeted against the United States, represents [a bold] threat to U.S. national security, the stability of the region, and the global nonproliferation regime.”

“Effective, targeted multilateral and national sanctions will . . . remain a vital component . . . to impede [North Korea’s] efforts to advance its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities,” Ambassador Davies continued. “China’s support for firm action remains key . . . and we are strengthening our close coordination with our Six-Party partners and regional allies . . . We have reassured both Seoul and Tokyo . . . of our commitment to extended deterrence through the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional capabilities, and missile defense.”

While denuclearization remains an essential focus of U.S. policy, so, too, does the welfare of North Korea’s nearly 25 million people, the vast majority of whom bear the brunt of their government’s decision to perpetuate an unsustainable, self-impoverishing military-first policy.

“North Korea will not achieve security, economic prosperity, and integration into the international community while it pursues nuclear weapons, threatens its neighbors, tramples on international norms, abuses its own people, and refuses to fulfill its longstanding obligations and commitments, “Ambassador Davies said, adding that that “if the North Korean regime is at all wise, it will re-embark on the path to denuclearization for the benefit of the North Korean people, the Northeast Asia region, and the world.”