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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/7/17

The US Has To Accept North Korea As A Nuclear Power

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North Korea may well accede through negotiations to this demand, as they can still claim to be a nuclear power and receive the recognition and respect of the international community which they desperately crave.

In return, North Korea will require the US to end its belligerent policy that has been in place since the end of the Korean war; that the US commits not to seek regime change, which was and still is the main motivator behind their pursuit of a nuclear shield; and that the US end its war games with South Korea and gradually remove the sanctions.

The lifting of the sanctions is extraordinarily important to mitigate the humanitarian crisis that has been inflicted on 25 million North Koreans, especially women and children, for nearly seven decades. Although humanitarian aid is exempt from diplomatic sanctions, more than 10 million citizens are undernourished and suffer from chronic food insecurity, which is tragically ignored or forgotten by the rest of the international community.

Based on the above terms, North Korea will have to fully comply to every provision of the accord, rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and adhere to the rules and requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially on the stationing of monitors and stringent inspections to ensure full compliance.

Given the experience of previous successive American administrations with North Korea, which have tried every conceivable approach to end the North Korean nuclear program including sanctions, negotiations, military threats, and isolation, none have worked because Pyongyang was determined not to surrender its nuclear weapons and be vulnerable to regime change.

We must now accept the fact that North Korea is a nuclear power, and rely on nuclear deterrence while normalizing relations in the process. Anything else is wishful thinking, and Kim Jong Un knows that only too well.

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Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. His dedication to writing about, analyzing, and (more...)

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