Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020
News Every Day |

Under Biden, America Has a Chance to Learn From Its Mistakes on North Korea

Richard Javad Heydarian

Security, Asia

https://www.reutersconnect.com/all?id=tag%3Areuters.com%2C2020%3Anewsml_RC2J0K9R7CHH&share=true

Both Obama and Trump made errors when dealing with other countries, but the good thing is that Washington appears to be slowly learning.

If there is one thing that’s encouraging with high-stakes geopolitics is “strategic learning”: namely, the ability of nation-states to learn from past mistakes and embrace new and innovative solutions to seemingly intractable challenges.

This reassuring dynamic has been on full display with respect to America’s approach on nuclear proliferation issue in the past decade. The Barack Obama administration rightly took a leap of faith, which led to a successful negotiation of a historic nuclear deal with Iran—providing a real-time and verifiable mechanism to allow both sides to avoid direct conflict and address their respective national security concerns.

As for the Donald Trump administration, it took its chance by conducting not one but two unprecedent summits with the North Korean leadership. This paved the way for direct negotiations over the future of peace in the Korean Peninsula in ways unimaginable only years earlier.

In both case, Washington recognized that sanctions and external pressure won’t deter a determined and threatened regime. The path forward, therefore, is sincere engagement and patient diplomacy.

The case of North Korea has proven even more complicated since, unlike in the case of Iran, there is an active nuclear weapons program in play. Since the end of Korean War in the early 1950s, the ruling elite in Pyongyang has shown its uncanny ability to overcome the most punishing sanctions and ignore the most menacing threats in order to become a “full-fledged” nuclear power.

Where there is strategic determination, there tends to be strategic dividends over the long run in face of hardship and risks in between.

The Joseph Biden administration, therefore, has a historic opportunity to learn from the shortcomings of its predecessors in order to adopt the most viable approach to the North Korean question.

While the Obama administration shunned direct engagement with then North Korea’s new leadership under Kim Jung-un, the Trump administration unwisely reneged on the Iranian nuclear deal in ways that undermined America’s reliability as a negotiating partner.

But now, there is an unprecedented opportunity for the incoming American leadership to move in the right direct on both fronts, namely the restoration of the United Nations-backed Iran nuclear deal as well as continuation of direct engagement with Pyongyang.

In this sense, the Biden administration could pick the best elements of its predecessors’ strategy on nuclear proliferation, while negating the negatives of both the Obama and Trump presidencies.

Unlike both his immediate predecessors, the incoming American president can lean on decades of experience in foreign policy, including long years as vice-president of the United States. And he has the benefit of hindsight, which will allow him to finetune the more effective aspects of American policy towards North Korea in recent years.

Ultimately, Biden has both the cognitive appreciation as well as strategic patience to conduct the kind of sustained, multi-phased, and sophisticated series of negotiations, which could finally unlock the North Korean nuclear puzzle.

And following the historic Trump-Kim summits, the prospect of direct negotiations to facilitate a long-term solution to the crisis in the Korean Peninsula is no longer a strategic taboo. Make no mistake, Pyongyang is still a hermit kingdom with a brutal regime that boasts nuclear weapons. But now, North Korea is led by a less atavistic millennial leadership that is not obsessed with isolation, seeks a measure of economic prosperity, and seems intent on breaking out of its long held status as a Stalinist dystopia.

Richard Javad Heydarian is an Asia-based academic and columnist who was part of an official delegation of Asia-Pacific scholars to North Korea in 2018. He is the author of, among other works, “The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery.

Image: Reuters

 




Read also

10 Best Places to Visit in Japan - Travel Video

Heartwarming moment a red deer offers up its hoof to help woman into car

Travis Scott Shares Ultra-Rare Smiling Picture



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here