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U.S. STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT WITH NORTH KOREA
Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have risen and fallen in a cyclical fashion for decades since the Korean War insufficiently concluded with a military ceasefire agreement in July 1953. While some efforts toward dialogue have been made, deadlock remains on the Korean Peninsula.
The current policy of "strategic patience," which awaits voluntary North Korean nuclear disarmament as part of peace treaty negotiations, has proven ineffective. Further evidence of the failure of "strategic patience" came when North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January 2016.
It's time for the U.S. to implement a policy of strategic engagement and seek a diplomatic solution to the deadlocked conflict.
Diplomatic solutions require trust building and dialogue, which means that engagement should be strategic and directed at intermediate steps to normalize relations. The Korea Peace Network has developed a set of recommendations for strategic areas of engagement between the U.S. and North Korea to foster an environment conducive to diplomacy.
The following recommendations are the result of consultations and lessons learned from civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, international coalitions, policy analysts, activists, and officials from the U.S., North Korea, and South Korea.