Biden Administration’s North-East Asia Strategy and
Korea’s Policy for Reopening of North
Senior Research Fellow,
the Sejong Institute
The beginning of the Biden
administration gave hope that the U.S.-South Korea alliance will find its place
and that it will serve as a turning point in the process to restore peace on
the Korean Peninsula. Instead of restoring peace on the Korean Peninsula,
however, there is a possibility of creating another competition between South
Korea·the U.S.·Japan and North Korea·China·Russia. Concerns are
raised that the U.S.-South Korea alliance’s
effort to suppress North Korea’s
attack and provocation on South Korea in order to establish peace on the Korean
Peninsula may serve as a reason to create a new Cold War structure.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of
Defense visited South Korea, after visiting Japan, on March 18th and
held a South Korea-U.S. 2+2 meeting for the first time in 5 years, showing a
South Korea-U.S. alliance. However, the U.S. Secretaries only criticized North
Korea’s human rights issues
instead of offering to talk. North Korea ostentated its presence by launching 2
short-range ballistic missiles, and the U.S. also warned to respond
North Korean people are facing difficulties due to
sanctions, yet the leaders of North Korea are not much affected by the sanctions.
The South Korean government must explain to the U.S. authorities that the
majority of North Koreans consider the sanctions imposed by Americans to be the
cause of all hardship.
If the U.S., which has 600 times the economic power of
North Korea and more than 300 times the nuclear power of North Korea, offers
appropriate economic assistance to North Korea without shaking its regime,
North Korea will easily give up its nuclear weapons. When issues of abductees
and human rights are raised, an abandon of medium and short-range missiles and
biochemical weapons is asked without considering the security dilemma of North
Korea, and demands more than ‘compete
denuclearization as an outlet’
such as revealing the full picture of its nuclear capability are made and being
inspected, then North Korea will almost definitely stick to its nuclear
development even if there are many difficulties.
As the U.S. lost its credibility over the problems in
Iran and Ukraine, the U.S. should first declare that it will abide by the
Singapore summit’s joint statement of the
former President Trump and Kim Jong-un, express its willingness to accept the
end-of-war declaration, and request North Korea to temporarily suspend its
nuclear program. Whether the Biden administration will restore the nuclear
agreement with Iran before North Korea launches major provocations such as
submarine-launched missiles and long-range missiles and apply it to North Korea
will determine the future relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.
※ Translator’s note: This is a third party’s unofficial translation of the original paper which was written in Korean. All references should be made to the original paper.
※ This article is written based on the author’s personal opinions and does not reflect the views of the Sejong Institute.