All Korea Program Multimedia

North Korea Policy: Why the Obama Administration is Right and the Critics are Wrong


Video and transcript of the event, "North Korea Policy: Why the Obama Administration is Right and the Critics are Wrong," on May 13, with Korea Program Associate Director David Straub.

Critics of the Obama administration's North Korea policy charge flatly that it is a "failure." They argue that "time is not on our side," sanctions are counterproductive, and "strategic patience" means "doing nothing." They assert that the Obama administration is unwilling to negotiate with North Korea unless it first gives up its nuclear weapons program, that it is foolishly and fecklessly "outsourcing" its North Korea policy to Beijing while waiting for the North Korean regime to collapse, and that, out of incompetence or malevolence, it has irresponsibly refused to respond to North Korean proposals, such as for negotiations to replace the current armistice agreement with a peace treaty. David Straub, associate director of Shorenstein APARC's Korea Program, will explain why such criticisms are ill-founded and not constructive. He will outline the real-world parameters within which the Obama and previous U.S administrations have formulated and implemented North Korea policy, assess how the strategic situation on the Korean Peninsula is evolving, and forecast how the next U.S. administration is likely to approach the North Korea problem.