Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea [NOOK Book]

Overview

In June 1994 the United States went to the brink of war with North Korea. With economic sanctions impending, President Bill Clinton approved the dispatch of substantial reinforcements to Korea, and plans were prepared for attacking the North's nuclear weapons complex. The turning point came in an extraordinary private diplomatic initiative by former President Jimmy Carter and others to reverse the dangerous American course and open the way to a diplomatic settlement of the ...

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Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea

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Overview

In June 1994 the United States went to the brink of war with North Korea. With economic sanctions impending, President Bill Clinton approved the dispatch of substantial reinforcements to Korea, and plans were prepared for attacking the North's nuclear weapons complex. The turning point came in an extraordinary private diplomatic initiative by former President Jimmy Carter and others to reverse the dangerous American course and open the way to a diplomatic settlement of the nuclear crisis.

Few Americans know the full details behind this story or perhaps realize the devastating impact it could have had on the nation's post-Cold War foreign policy. In this lively and authoritative book, Leon Sigal offers an inside look at how the Korean nuclear crisis originated, escalated, and was ultimately defused. He begins by exploring a web of intelligence failures by the United States and intransigence within South Korea and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Sigal pays particular attention to an American mindset that prefers coercion to cooperation in dealing with aggressive nations. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with policymakers from the countries involved, he discloses the details of the buildup to confrontation, American refusal to engage in diplomatic give-and-take, the Carter mission, and the diplomatic deal of October 1994.

In the post-Cold War era, the United States is less willing and able than before to expend unlimited resources abroad; as a result it will need to act less unilaterally and more in concert with other nations. What will become of an American foreign policy that prefers coercion when conciliation is more likely to serve its national interests? Using the events that nearly led the United States into a second Korean War, Sigal explores the need for policy change when it comes to addressing the challenge of nuclear proliferation and avoiding conflict with nations like Russia, Iran, and Iraq. What the Cuban missile crisis was to fifty years of superpower conflict, the North Korean nuclear crisis is to the coming era.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The story deftly told in this weighty but engaging book may seem unfamiliar, says the author, because "key parts...never appeared in the news." Sigal (Fighting to a Finish, LJ 6/15/88) drew up the New York Times editorials about Korea under Presidents Bush and Clinton and accordingly thought he knew what had happened. Nevertheless, he discovered the inside story only when he visited major players and reviewed key documents (many reproduced here) for this book. Realpolitik policies of unilateral coercion failed, argues Sigal, partly because of South Korea's intransigence and U.S. intelligence snafus. Negotiations led by Jimmy Carter, however, went from the brink of war in 1994 to "open covenants, privately arrived at." Sigal offers disturbing and enlightening insights into the reasons why news coverage left this critical story untold, how "cooperating with strangers" replaced coercion in "getting to yes," and the significance of this liberal challenge to "realism" in dealing with nuclear crisis. Recommended for all public affairs and international relations collections.Charles Hayford, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Victor D. Cha
Among the works published in Korean and English on the 1994 nuclear crisis between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), this book is the most authoritative and comprehensive account...Segal succeeds quite well.
Political Science Quarterly
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1998 Book of Distinction on the Practice of Diplomacy, The American Academy of Diplomacy

"Sigal makes it disturbingly clear how close the world came to war in Korea in 1994. The product of hundreds of interviews, Disarming Strangers is also the most rigorously detailed account of U.S. policy towards North Korea yet published, and it will remain so for many years.... An important and superbly researched book."—Michael J. Mazarr, Survival

"This is a thought-provoking and disturbing book on American and North Korean diplomatic relations. Disarming Strangers is also an extremely well-researched study."—Bill Drucker, Korean Quarterly

Survival - Michael J. Mazarr
Sigal makes it disturbingly clear how close the world came to war in Korea in 1994. The product of hundreds of interviews, Disarming Strangers is also the most rigorously detailed account of U.S. policy towards North Korea yet published, and it will remain so for many years.... An important and superbly researched book.
Survival
Sigal makes it disturbingly clear how close the world came to war in Korea in 1994. The product of hundreds of interviews, Disarming Strangers is also the most rigorously detailed account of U.S. policy towards North Korea yet published, and it will remain so for many years.... An important and superbly researched book.
— Michael J. Mazarr
Korean Quarterly
This is a thought-provoking and disturbing book on American and North Korean diplomatic relations. Disarming Strangers is also an extremely well-researched study.
— Bill Drucker
Korean Quarterly - Bill Drucker
This is a thought-provoking and disturbing book on American and North Korean diplomatic relations. Disarming Strangers is also an extremely well-researched study.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

PREFACE ix
ABBREVIATIONS xiii
1 Uncooperative America 3
A History of Failure 5
Shared Uncertainty, Shared Certitude 10
The Politics of Diplomatic Paralysis 13
PART I: COERCION FAILS 15
2 The Bush Deadlock Machine 17
Dealing with Korean Insecurities 20
North Korea Reciprocates for U.S. Security Assurances 25
"One Meeting Means One Meeting" 32
Ignoring the North's Offer 38
Witnesses for the Prosecution 42
Interregnum Politics. No One Stands Up to Team Spirit 44
3 The Clinton Administration Ties Itself in Knots 52
Coaxing North Korea Part-way Back into the Treaty 55
The Reactor Deal Redux 65
Empty Threats 71
An Empty "Package Deal" 77
Seoul Gets the Shakes 84
4 A "Better than Even" Chance of Misestimation 90
The Collapse of "Super Tuesday" 95
Let Bygones Be Bygones, for Now 108
Stumbling to the Brink 113
5 Deadlock 124
PART II: COOPERATION SUCCEEDS 129
6 Open Covenants, Privately Arrived At 131
Private Contacts With Pyongyang 133
Pyongyang Reaches Out 137
The Hidden Hand in the First Joint Statement 140
Two Foundations Try to Jump-Start Diplomacy 143
Jimmy Carter refuses to Take "No" for an Answer 150
The Carter-Kim Deal 155
The Bushmen Go on Me Warpath 162
7 Getting to Yes 168
Kim Il Sung's Legacy 172
Putting Some chips on the Table 176
The October Agreed Framework 184
Decrying and Defending the Deal 192
The Issue at Kuala Lumpur: What's in a Name? 199
PART III: CONCLUSIONS 205
8 Nuclear Diplomacy in the News--An Untold Story 207
Unfamiliarity Breeds Contempt 208
Explaining News on Nuclear Diplomacy 219
Op-eds and Editorials 223
Possible Consequences of News Coverage 225
9 The Politics of Discouragement 229
No Interest in a Deal 229
The Foreign Policy Establishment 236
10 Why Won't America Cooperate? 244
Realism 246
The Liberal challenge to Realism 250
Cooperating With Strangers 251
Appendixes 255
Appendix I North Korea's Tit-for-Tat Negotiating Behavior 257
Appendix II Key Documents 260
NOTES 265
INDEX 307
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