Sample International Relations Paper on Nuclear Proliferation in North Korea

Formation of the Agreed Framework

Carpenter and Bundow retaliates that The Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK) had an advent in nuclear weapons back in the 1950s; this was after it launched an atomic energy research center in 1962 (39). North Korea all along argued that it was interested in nuclear power generation to an extent of joining the International Atomic Agency in 1974, a nuclear activity regulatory organ. Similarly, DPRK agreed to be a member of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on December 1985. Following these actions, North Korea had managed to win trust among other countries regarding its nuclear proliferation. However, as time went by, the country made some moves that contradicted with its assertions regarding the exploitation of nuclear power. For example, the report submitted by DPRK to IAEA in 1992 differed with the agency findings which declared the presence of plutonium products in North Korea. Thereafter, IAEA requested access to the nuclear plants in order to clear the inconsistencies but North Korea refused accusing it as a front of the USA; actually, it threatened to quit NPT in 1993.  These developments made the USA impose sanctions on North Korea suspending its diplomatic policy between the countries. IAEA followed by declaring North-Korea as non-compliance and that it wanted to divert the nuclear material for non-peaceful uses. Larry notes that there was a claim that North Korea was separating fuel meant for nuclear research and the USA and IAEA insisted that such actions needed to be monitored as the fuel can be used to produce weapons (n.p). North Korea was using blackmail and feigning innocence to dupe other nations about its nuclear generation plans.

In 1994, there was immense pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear programs. The former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited DPRK to propose a negotiation deal between North Korea and the USA. The proposal was welcomed with North Korea agreeing to freeze its nuclear programs and engage in high-level talks with USA. In July the same year, North Korean President Kimm II Sung died leaving the helm of leadership with his son Kim Jong iL. As a result, President Kim Jong continued with the negotiations with the new U.S. President Clinton and came to an agreement on October 1994 popularly known as the Agreed Framework; negotiations were led by Robert Gallucci, the chief negotiator of the 1994 accord (Carpenter and Bundow 43). The motivation of this agreement was to continue with bilateral relationship between the two countries. North Korea had to allow IAEA inspect its nuclear plants and suspend its threat from NPT withdrawal. DPRK was also expected to close its research laboratories, plants, and halt the production of plutonium within a time frame of five to ten years. The United States on the other hand was to lift its economic sanctions and continue military exercises in DPRK. Additionally, the USA was to strike an entity among North Korean enemies South Korea and Japan. USA was also supposed to supply North Korea with 500,000 tons of fuels oil annually to offset the loss of power after DPRK agreed to close its nuclear power generating plants. The Agreed Framework was reached through negotiations and goodwill from the two countries and it was championed by President Bill Clinton.

Failure of the Agreed Framework

Carpenter and Bundow suggest that the move by Clinton was received with mixed reactions where critics argued that evil governments should be given amnesty (58). Nevertheless, North Korea continuously showed their willingness to stay committed to the Agreed Framework. For instance, it halted the construction of Kumchang-ri complex, a conclusion verified during a second visit to the site in May by a U.S. team of inspectors led by former secretary of defense William Perry. The United States on the other hand was reluctant on its commitment to the Agreed Framework noting that North Korea was going against the conditions issued during the agreement. For instance, the shipment of oil did not happen until 1997 after USA disagreed with South Korea and Japan in terms of funding. South Korea was also insisting that USA would not lift sanctions on North Korea but instead take measured steps. Larry says that new conditions continued to upsurge such as requiring DPRK to halt the development and sales of ballistic missiles in 1996 (n.p.). Two years later, USA said that it would lift the sanctions if North Korea reduced tensions in South Korea. As expected, North Korea accused USA for intentionally dragging the commitments to the Agreed Framework and began threatening to get back to its nuclear projects.  The Ballistic missiles were a major point of contention as it was rumored they were built to bomb the US Army base in North Korea. As a result, the relationship between the USA and North Korea was weakening day by day.

The situation was not better even when President Bush took power from Clinton. There was much suspicion and North Korea admitted the existence of uranium enrichment program bringing further negotiations to a halt. The USA responded by stopping any further funding for oil and sanctioned North Korea Chaggwang Sinyong Corporation.  North Korea canceled any ministerial level talks with the USA and announced through the Korean Central News Agency that it would take a thousand-fold revenge. At this point, both countries were accusing each other for the violation of the Agreed Framework. On February 2002, Washington through the senate foreign relations committee hearing retaliated its intentions of negotiations with North Korea if it stopped the missile fight-test as expected in the Agreed Framework Carpenter and Bundow 53). However, the KEDO partners’ suspended oil funding to North Korea based on its acknowledgement of the uranium enrichment program in November 2002.  A month later, a ship carrying missiles was intercepted by the Spanish forces that were headed to Yemen. North Korea also wrote to IAEA announcing its plan to get back to its nuclear facilities. Actually, the USA noted that North Korea had already manufactured two nuclear weapons and these developments culminated to the breaking of the Agreed Framework.

Future about negotiations between US and N. Korea

            First, as observed in this study is that the Agreed Framework averted war between USA and North Korea. However, the agreement was marred with a lot of blackmail and betrayal. It was hard for the two countries to be honest with their obligations and stay true to their commitments. The conditions given on destroying the fuel rods within five years was not carried out even though the country showed intentions to do that. North Korea at some point also asked for 1 billion dollars to stop its nuclear programs. USA had also a share of its blackmail since it took more than three years to take actions on the commitments on the Agreed Framework. Actions by these two countries amount to bribery and blackmail which does not auger well with negotiations.  Secondly, in both nations, at least there were two regimes that held negotiations and all of them were just like their predecessors. There was a lot of threats and non-compliance for the ten years of the Agreed Framework. Significantly, negotiations between USA and N. Korea are not straightforward and the same would be expected in the future.

Works cited

Carpenter Ted and Doug Bandow, The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004) Chapter 2-3, pp. 39-100

Larry A. Niksch North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program(PDF) (Report). Congressional Research Service. (March 17, 2003).IB91141.