U.S.'s tactics to persude North Korea to abandon its development of a nuclear weapons program - Essay Example

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The U.S. has employed a variety of tactics over the years to attempt to persuade North Korea to abandon its development of a nuclear weapons program. These tactics have primarily been confined to hard power approaches…
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U.S.s tactics to persude North Korea to abandon its development of a nuclear weapons program
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The U.S. has employed a variety of tactics over the years to attempt to persuade North Korea to abandon its development of a nuclear weapons program. These tactics have primarily been confined to hard power approaches. In March of 1992, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions against North Korea’s Lyongaksan Machineries and Equipment Export and Changgwang Sinyong Corporations for alleged missile proliferation activities. Since that time there have been a series of cat and mouse moves focused around forcing North Korea to meet requirements imposed by the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Although economic aide is usually the carrot used to persuade North Korea to back down from its repeated threats to leave the NPT, almost twenty years from those first economic sanctions, the tactics of withholding aide to force the North Koreans to step in line with the NPT have not produced any tangible progress in pushing North Korea to abandon its nuclear proliferation. Meanwhile, in February of 2011, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that he and other top U.S. military officials just concluded very successful meetings with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss regional security issues and ways to improve military operations against terrorist forces. At a press conference after the meetings, General Kayani expressed gratitude to U.S. military officials and credited them with helping Pakistan achieve what he called “military success” at fighting “extremist elements” throughout Pakistan. This soft power approach to working jointly with Pakistani officials to confront threats is carried out despite strong evidence that extremist groups have existed and functioned without impunity within Pakistani territory. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai expressed suspicion of Pakistan in this regard quite clearly when he declared in August of 2010 that the nest of terrorist elements do not exist inside of Afghanistan, but its “funding and training centers are located inside of Pakistan.” In spite of Karzai’s comments, high level U.S. and Pakistani officials agree that the terrorist threat within Pakistani borders is being effectively minimized primarily due to joint cooperation between the two countries and military forces. With regards to U.S. China relations, in spite of the fact the two countries have engaged in cold war politics since China’s revolution in 1949 and China provided military support to North Korea during the U.S. North Korean war, a war that has still never technically been called off, the U.S. State Department’s official statement on U.S. China relations in 2011 is the definition of soft power interaction. The State Department declares that the U.S. is committed to achieving a “constructive relationship with a strong and prosperous China.” So the U.S. seems to rely on engaging in a primarily soft power approach to relations with China and Pakistan although these are clearly countries that the U.S. has historical and practical reason to have suspicion of. Meanwhile, relations with North Korea are maintained almost exclusively through hard power tactics, although the effectiveness of these tactics is highly questionable. Is it possible that current U.S. geo-political interests with Pakistan and China play a role in determining its approach to interacting with those countries? In other words, those countries have interests that are vital to U.S. interests so soft power tactics are strategically more viable than they are with North Korea where no such mutual interests may exist? If so, this would not be a new political phenomenon, but the approach should be examined in order to determine how to improve and maximize relations with North Korea. Maybe it’s time to explore implementing a more broad smart power approach with North Korea? This may involve the U.S. making some concessions on North Korea’s right to engage in some nuclear power developments. This may seem like an unbelievable proposition to some, but it wasn’t that long ago that the same flexibility with China would have raised just as many eyebrows. Plus, it may be worth consideration to think about the fact that although North Korea doesn’t offer anything close to the political benefits to be derived from improving relations with China, or even Pakistan for that matter, the U.S. being able to demonstrate the ability to change directions with North Korea could have a tremendous positive effect on the perception of the U.S. for those very same reasons. Kimball, Daryl. “Chronology of U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Missile Diplomacy.” Washington D.C. Arms Control Association. 2010. Miles, Donna. “Top Level Talks Focus on U.S.- Pakistani Military Operations.” Washington D.C. American Forces Press Service. 2010. Shaukat, Sajjad. “Where are Hideouts of Terrorists?” Pakistan Daily. Islamabad. 2010. Sasser, James. “U.S. – China Relations.” Fact Sheet from the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. U.S. State Department. Washington D.C. 2010. Read More
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