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Transforming United States-Democratic People's Republic of Korea Relations: Identifying Trade Space in Pursuit of Change

For nearly a century the Korean Peninsula has been polarized. While across much of the world Cold War divisions have since eroded: militarization on the peninsula has allowed stratification to persist. Unfortunately, to compound matters further, the senior leadership in Pyongyang has pursued a nuclear weapons program in an effort to ensure regime survival. To escape the current dynamics in the region requires bold action through a change in policy. In particular, The United States has the resources and standing to alter the regional landscape. Offering North Korea a package which recognizes the North’s nuclear program and addresses some of its other strategic concerns, while bringing the “Hermit Kingdom” into the international community, presents the best, feasible option to change the course of the region. Such a shift from Washington, deeply rooted in its reengagement with China, can be achieved through courageous and decisive leadership, coupled with an appropriate planning construct.

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