Although rarely discussed in policy circles, a peace process for the Korean Peninsula would significantly advance U.S. national interests in Northeast Asia and is the most realistic route to denuclearization. The United States could initiate and sustain a peace process by taking peace-building steps, entering intopeace treaty negotiations, andcommitting to peace regimemaintenance. Immediate actions include opening channels with Pyongyang and, coordinated with Seoul in line with President Park Geun-hye’s ‘‘trustpolitik’’ approach, seeking a variety of civil andmilitary confidence-buildingmeasures on the peninsula. Building on the Kim Jong-un regime’s focus on economic development, and phasing in gradual denuclearization, the peace process is a slow march and hard slog, but it is more realistic than the current sanctions-based policy or thewishful thinking of North Korean collapse. However, the political costs are high, and therefore only far-sighted presidential leadership and strategic commitment by national security officials could realize a peace process plan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations