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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


CRS Report for Congress, CRS94-470F

June 1, 1994
By Richard P. Cronin, Coordinator
Specialist, Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division


Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division
Steven R. Bowman
Analyst in National Defense

Ellen C. Collier
Specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy

Larry A. Niksch
Specialist in Asian Affairs

Rinn-Sup Shinn
Analyst in Asian Affairs

Office of Senior Specialists

Robert G. Sutter
Senior Specialist in International Politics


Introduction: Purpose And Scope Of This Report

Background to the Confrontation & Current U.S. Policy Approaches Policy Challenge Arising out of North Korea's Decision to Withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (Npt) Threat Posed By North Korea's Current And Future Capabilities Potential Broader Implications of the No. Korean Nuclear Threat Negotiating Efforts And Outcomes To Date North Korea's Calculus Adverse Changes In North Korea's External Environment Possible North Korean Negotiating Goals and Strategy Practical Constraints on U.S. Policy Limits on the Utility of Force Limits Imposed by the Stance of Other Key Countries and the IAEA South Korea Japan China U.S. Policy Approaches And Options Option 1: Wait out North Korea on the assumption that the regime will not survive long enough to seriously threaten U.S. or allied interests with its nuclear capability Option 2: Seek a "comprehensive settlement" of Korean peninsula issues, primarily through diplomacy Option 3: Seek economic sanctions under the United Nations Security Council Option 4: Military augmentation Option 5: Counterproliferation strikes against North Korea's nuclear installations Option 6: Negotiated reduction of the U.S. military presence in South Korea Implications for Congress Appendix: War Powers and Related Legislative-Executive Issues



North Korea's March 1993 announcement of its intent to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) elevated a serious proliferation threat into a direct test of wills. How the United States should respond to North Korea's actions has become the subject of a spirited debate in Congress and among foreign policy commentators and analysts. The sides sometimes have been far apart on their assumptions about the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program and the appropriate U.S. policy response.

Congress has tended to regard the threat posed by North Korea's actions as one of the most important U.S. foreign and security policy concerns, and Members have monitored and often criticized the Clinton Administration's handling of the issue. What some see as judicious Administration adjustments to a very difficult negotiating environment have been interpreted by others as vacillation and wavering. The North Korea issue has figured prominently in a broader critique of the Administration's management of American foreign policy.(2)

The following report presents a systematic analysis of available U.S. policy options within the practical realities that bear on those options. The first major section gives a short background to the crisis and current U.S. policy approaches, including negotiating efforts and outcomes to date. The calculus of North Korea's leaders, including the impact of recent changes in their external environment and an assessment of their goals and strategy, is the focus of the second major section. Next, the report considers constraints imposed on U.S. decisionmaking by practical limits on the use of force, and an aversion to confrontation on the part of key countries, most notably South Korea, Japan and China. The fourth major section considers six alternative policy options, generally on an ascending scale of effort, cost and/or risk. with a short discussion of the rationale, advantages and disadvantages of each. The report concludes with summary observations on the role of Congress in the debate, and a brief outline of available congressional policy levers. An appendix contains a brief discussion of the relevance of the 1994 War Powers Resolution to the current crisis.

This and related issues concerning the stability of the Korean peninsula and the U.S. role have been the subject of recent CRS reports and issue briefs. A selected list includes Korean Crisis, 1994: Military, Geography, Military Balance, Military Options. CRS Report 94-311 S, dated April 11, 1994 [by John M. Collins], North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program, Issue Brief 91141, updated regularly [by Larry A. Niksch], and U.N. Security Council Consideration of North Korea's Violations of its Nuclear Treaty Obligations. CRS Report 94-299 F, dated April 6, 1994 [by Larry A. Niksch.]



Although North Korea's nuclear program was long viewed with serious concern by U.S. policymakers, the issue acquired greater urgency following Pyongyang's March 1993 announcement of its intent to withdraw from the NPT. The action constituted a rejection of a demand by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it allow a "special inspection" of two suspected nuclear waste sites at its Yongbyon nuclear facility before March 31, 1993. The sites are thought to contain evidence that in 1989 North Korea removed some of the fuel rods in a small, experimental, five-megawatt (MW) reactor and reprocessed them to extract plutonium. The suspected diversion was inferred from laboratory analysis of materials collected during regular inspections of North Korea's declared nuclear facilities, that began in June 1992.(3)

North Korea not only rejected the demand for special inspections but it barred the IAEA from further routine inspections as well. It also continued to rebuff South Korean demands to implement a December 1991 bilateral denuclearization agreement, which among other things provided for negotiation of a mutual inspection regime. (4)

The sense of crisis increased markedly in mid-May, 1994, when North Korea began to remove the fuel rods in its 5-MW reactor without adequate monitoring by IAEA inspectors.(5)

Unsupervised or insufficiently monitored handling of the spent fuel rods would make it impossible for inspectors to reconstruct the operating history of the reactor and thus compromise the IAEA's ability to assess the extent of any past plutonium production. If the rods now being removed are not placed in a safeguarded storage environment or otherwise subjected to continuous inspection, North Korea could reprocess them to obtain plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.


Source: CIA World Factbook, 1993; IISS, The Military Balance, 1993-1994.


The seriousness with which the United States, the IAEA and other concerned countries regard North Korea's challenge stems from the relatively advanced state of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs and the longstanding potential for conflict in the divided Korean peninsula. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency has stated that there is a "better than even chance" that Pyongyang already possesses one or two nuclear weapons, based on estimates of the amount of plutonium that it has been able to accumulate through reprocessing unsafeguarded spent uranium fuel from its small reactor. Although the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research reportedly views this conclusion as a "worst case" scenario, (6) all U.S. agencies are in agreement that the United States has an urgent interest in bringing North Korea's nuclear program under international inspection and safeguards.

Depending on the operating history of the reactor, the current fuel load that the North Koreans are now in the process of replacing could have the potential to yield enough plutonium for another five to six nuclear weapons. To the extent that some rods were replaced earlier, as is strongly suspected, this estimate may need to be adjusted downward.

Other steps that North Korea may take during the remainder of 1994 could considerably increase its capability to build nuclear weapons. During their visit to Yongbyon in March 1994 IAEA inspectors reportedly found evidence of ongoing construction activity at a reprocessing facility that chemically separates plutonium from spent uranium fuel. The inspectors reportedly saw new ducts and pipes that possibly may tap into the declared chemical reprocessing vat and allow the covert removal of nuclear material to nearby unsafeguarded areas, in effect adding a second, unmonitored reprocessing line.(7) According to Secretary of Defense William Perry, North Korea also is constructing a 200-megawatt reactor that theoretically could yield enough plutonium for as many as 10-12 nuclear weapons annually. The reactor is planned to be completed in 1995.(8)

Potential Broader Implications of the North Korean Nuclear Threat

A failure of diplomacy to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear program also may raise or intensify several sensitive defense issues between the United States and Japan and South Korea, and jeopardize U.S. global nonproliferation objectives. One issue is Japan's attitude toward cooperation with the United States in establishing a theater missile defense (TMD) system. The Clinton Administration proposed the joint development of such a system in 1993, but Japan has yet to make any firm decision about it. A second issue could be the adequacy of South Korea's commitment of resources to defend against North Korea. Several senior Department of Defense civilian and military officials already have raised this issue, as have several Members of Congress. They claim that South Korea has spent too much on high profile weapons systems that seek to enhance the technological competence of its industries and are aimed at future contingencies involving Japan or China, and of neglecting its defenses against the North. Issues of financial burden sharing also would likely again come to the fore with regard to both allies.

Should North Korea succeed in acquiring usable nuclear weapons, South Korea and possibly Japan could face an increase in sentiment for reorienting their civil nuclear programs towards a greater capability for building nuclear weapons on short order. South Korea's former chief secretary to the head of the National Security Planning Agency reportedly disclosed in March 1994 that the South Korean Government prepared plans in 1991 to manufacture nuclear weapons, but gave up the program under pressure from the United States.(9) In October 1993, President Kim Young Sam's cabinet considered a proposal to begin plutonium reprocessing of spent fuel from its nine power reactors, all of which currently are under international inspection and safeguards.

Briefly, following North Korea's test of its Rodong-I ballistic missile in late May 1993, the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government appeared to hedge on whether it would commit itself unconditionally to extend the NPT when its twenty-five year term expires in 1995.(10) Then-Foreign Minister Kabun Muto told reporters at a regional security conference in Singapore in late July that if North Korea came to pose a nuclear threat, Japan would rely first on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but would build its own nuclear weapons if necessary.(11) Following July 1993 elections that brought a multi-party, non-LDP coalition to power, the government revoked these qualiflcations,(12) but many observers regard the nuclear debate in Japan as only having begun, not ended.

Broader U.S. security and nonproliferation interests could also be jeopardized if other radical states react to a U.S. policy failure by beginning or intensifying their own nuclear weapons programs. Iran, which has developed close military and technical cooperation with North Korea, is probably the most serious potential proliferator.(13)

The North Korean impasse could also influence the course of negotiations over the future of the NPT, which is up for renegotiation and extension in 1995. A U.S. diplomatic failure could affect negotiations over issues such as the future powers of the IAEA and the means of ensuring compliance when individual signatory nations violate their obligations under the treaty.(14)


For some time the stated long term strategy of the Clinton Administration has been to seek to negotiate a "comprehensive settlement" of Korean peninsula issues, in which North Korea's acceptance of inspections would be matched by new political, economic and security overtures on the part of the United States. Since the Administration began talks with North Korea in June 1993, officials have stressed that their first priority is to contain North Korea's stock of reprocessed plutonium at present levels by reestablishing the continuity of IAEA inspections and safeguards, and then to negotiate additional inspections to determine whether North Korea has already accumulated a stock of plutonium and to get any such material placed under safeguards.

Thus far, diplomatic efforts led by the United States and the LAEA have failed to gain North Korea's agreement to reestablishing a regular inspection regime or to allowing special inspections to determine whether its scientists have diverted material to weapons use. During a series of negotiations with senior State Department officials last June and July, North Korea agreed to "suspend" its withdrawal from the NPT in exchange for U.S. "assurances against the use of force, including nuclear weapons," and an American commitment not to interfere in North Korea's "internal affairs." Subsequent negotiations between senior State Department officials and North Korean representatives in December 1993 and early January 1994 appeared to open the way for a one-time inspection of Pyongyang's seven declared sites to replace film and batteries in cameras and reestablish the continuity of the inspections regime.

For reasons that remain a matter of differing U.S. and North Korean interpretations, the U.S.North Korean agreement broke down.(15) The North initially balked at conditions laid down by the IAEA for the inspections and charged that these went beyond what had been agreed upon with U.S. negotiators.(16) On February 15, 1993, however, faced with the impending prospect that the IAEA Board of Governors would report to the UN Security Council that the continuity of the inspection system had completely broken down, Pyongyang agreed in writing to an IAEA checklist of procedures and facilities for a one-time inspection. These included the collection of samples from a "glove box" connected to a reprocessing "hot cell" and gamma ray scans. After further acrimony, Pyongyang eventually issued visas to the IAEA's inspectors.

Upon the beginning of the inspections on March 3, the United States, North and South Korea took a series of previously agreed-upon actions intended to help defuse the confrontation. The United States announced the suspension of this year's "Team Spirit" military exercises and the rescheduling for March 21 of a third round of high level talks with North Korea on a range of Korean peninsula issues. North and South Korea resumed a suspended series of meetings intended to lead to an exchange of envoys. (17)

As in many earlier negotiations, the apparent breakthrough quickly proved illusory. The North Koreans heaped abuse on the Southern delegation at the bilateral talks, (18) and at the Yongbyon reprocessing facility, they refused to let the inspectors take the necessary "glove box" samples and gamma ray scans at the reprocessing facility. Moreover, the IAEA team found evidence of tampering with seals on the "hot cell" in the reprocessing facility and the aforementioned evidence of the construction of a second, unsafeguarded reprocessing line. As a result, the IAEA inspectors declared that they were unable to verify that North Korea had not diverted material since February 1993, when the facility was last inspected. (19)

North Korea's refusal to allow free access to the IAEA inspectors and evidence of forced entry into the hot cell area lent new urgency to the issue and underscored Pyongyang's unreliability as a negotiating partner. Administration officials reportedly declared on March 16, "this time the North went too far . . . there are no more carrots." The United States canceled the planned high level talks and consulted with South Korea about rescheduling the Team Spirit military exercises, normally held before the spring planting season. On April 20, Secretary of Defense William Perry announced in Seoul that, with the consent of South Korea, the Team Spirit exercises would again take place in November 1994 unless North Korea agreed to IAEA inspections. He also listed other measures would be taken to bolster the combat readiness of U.S. and South Korean forces.(20)

The sense of crisis deepened in mid-May, when North Korea announced that it had begun changing the fuel rods in the reactor without the presence of IAEA inspectors. Faced with this new challenge, the Clinton Administration offered conditionally to hold the long-deferred third series of high level talks to consider the whole range of Korean peninsula issues, including economic, diplomatic and security benefits that North Korea might obtain if it agreed to place its nuclear program under international inspection and safeguards. (21) However, the U.S. offer reportedly was contingent on a satisfactory outcome to talks then in process between North Korea and the IAEA on monitoring the refueling operations and safeguarding the fuel rods already removed. (22)

On May 28, following a failure of negotiations aimed at subjecting the refueling operation to international safeguards, the Director General of the IAEA, Hans Blix, reported to the UN Secretary General that the North Koreans had removed almost half of the 8,000 fuel rods without necessary safeguards measures, and that the agency was fast losing the ability to verify the amount of North Korea's plutonium production. North Korea, he said, had been unresponsive in negotiations with IAEA personnel and "had refused to discuss the agency's concerns."(23) Pyongyang firmly rejected the IAEA's requirement that the rods be secured against unsupervised reprocessing and that about 300 be segregated for sampling to determine whether rods had been secretly replaced, and declared that it was adamant against allowing such inspections and safeguards "under the present condition" (sic) even in the face of international "counteraction." (24)

To date, North Korea has skillfully played on the concerns of the United States and the IAEA while avoiding dire consequences such as a decision to seek economic sanctions authority from

the UN Security Council. Its latest steps, however, have raised the challenge to a new level by creating a qualitatively different situation. If North Korea fails to accommodate minimum U.S. and IAEA requirements for insuring against the diversion of reactor fuel rods now being removed, the stage would be set for stronger U.S. and international action, probably starting with economic sanctions.

Reportedly, on May 30, 1994, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China -- reached agreement on a draft resolution urging North Korea to maintain the removed fuel rods in a way that would preserve any evidence of past diversion of material. Out of deference to China's objection to economic sanctions, the resolution includes no explicit threat, but the action was widely seen as a last chance before stronger measures were sought.(25) On May 31, a Department of State briefer said that North Korea's unsafeguarded reprocessing actions were destroying the premises on which negotiations had been based.(26)


Any consideration of U.S. options must rest at least in part on an analysis of how Kim Il Sung and others in the North Korean decisionmaking structure look at the world, and on judgments about the nature of their objectives. This task is made more difficult by the country's selfimposed isolation and secretive political processes, but most analysis tends to view North Korea's effort to acquire nuclear weapons as deriving from a deep sense of insecurity and even paranoia, as well as a long standing ambition of unifying the peninsula under northern leadership.(28)


Many analysts see North Korea's apparent efforts to accelerate its nuclear program as a response to adverse changes in its external environment that have had serious internal repercussions for the North Korean economy. The collapse of the Soviet Union largely cut Pyongyang off from its major source of modern military hardware. The demise of the U.S.S.R. and the Soviet bloc also eliminated the source of about 60 percent of North Korea's two-way trade, mostly bartered goods, and created a severe economic crisis that has made it difficult for the North to support its massive military forces.(29) The economy contracted by 10-15 percent during the past year. (See table, p. 3)[not included herein]

Other developments include a significant loss of economic, military and international political support from China, Beijing's 1993 decision to establish diplomatic relations with Seoul, and rapidly growing trade and investment ties between China and South Korea. While North Korea's economic crisis has deepened, its arch-rival South Korea has carried out a successful transition to electoral democracy and emerged as a major regional economic and technological power. Prospects are for these unfavorable trends to continue for Pyongyang and to worsen over time.

These developments appear to have led to two broad responses by the secretive, Stalinist government headed since 1948 by President Kim Il Sung. The first has been a cautious effort to imitate some aspects of China's economic reforms in order to shore up declining living standards, check any tendencies towards popular or elite discontent, and increase hard currency earnings. This effort has included the establishment of several special economic zones in which foreign investors are invited to set up factories for export production and take advantage of North Korea's cheap labor. The second response -- the main focus of the current confrontation -appears to be the continued or accelerated development of North Korea's nuclear option and its ballistic missile capability.

As noted below, analysts differ as to the exact objectives of the nuclear and missile programs, but they are generally seen as a means of compensating for growing sources of regime vulnerability and creating leverage for the attainment of economic, political and security benefits from the United States and other major countries. Missile sales have also been a significant source of hard currency income, leading to fears that in the future North Korea might sell nuclear technology, materials or even weapons to ease its financial crisis.


Most analysts see the regime's foremost concern as less the long-standing goal of unification under the North than the more immediate goal of insuring its survival. Many in this group judge that the nuclear card is being played primarily to gain concessions from the United States and South Korea that would bolster its survival prospects. Under this interpretation, North Korea calculates that fear of provoking a new Korean conflict on the part of the United States, South Korea, Japan, and other countries, will cause them to avoid confrontation and seek accommodation. Pyongyang will seek to maximize the achievement of near-term benefits such as the cancellation of joint U.S./South Korean military exercises, U.S. diplomatic recognition, lifting the post-1950 U.S. embargo on the North, and western and international economic aid, with minimum concessions of its own. Ultimately, some advocates of this interpretation see Pyongyang substantially bargaining away its nuclear capability for the right combination of benefits.

An alternative interpretation has a more confident North Korea believing that it has already obtained the leverage -- perhaps surpassing its own expectations -- to negate superior U.S. military power and extract diplomatic and economic concessions while preserving its nuclear option. This interpretation rests on Kim's perception that fear and war avoidance are influencing Seoul and Washington and correlates with the regime's staunch public stance justifying its resistance to IAEA inspections while blaming the United States as the source of nuclear threat to the Korean peninsula. This interpretation assumes that the intensely nationalistic and distorted world view of North Korea's leaders will make it difficult, if not impossible for them to yield to external pressures.

Under either interpretation, North Korea likely will try to have it both ways -- getting concessions while seeking to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, protecting its nuclear option, and undercutting the U.S. rationale for keeping its troops in South Korea. Pyongyang appears to place especially high value on twin objectives of dictating terms to South Korea on unification and other issues while bargaining directly with the United States on nuclear and other security matters of concern to South Korea and its neighbors.


The ability of the Administration to contain or reverse North Korea's drive to acquire a nuclear weapons capability has been seriously inhibited by a number of practical obstacles, including doubts about the utility of limited force as a means of eliminating Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program and the reluctance of other key countries to resort to economic sanctions. These constraints have confined U.S. actions thus far to diplomatic and military readiness responses, and have tended to undermine the credibility of U.S. warnings about getting tough if Pyongyang fails to respond to the combination of U.S.-led international pressure and American negotiating "carrots."


The tenuous military balance situation as well as the practical problems in neutralizing nuclear facilities or eliminating suspected nuclear weapons, tend to limit the utility of preemptive strikes or other forceful measures.(30) Although U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and other senior officials have recently downplayed the threat that North Korea will launch a new Korean war, U.S. policymakers have also emphasized that some level of threat exists and that the costs of a new conflict would be huge for all concerned. U.S. military leaders profess confidence in the ability of the United States, South Korea and other allies to defeat a North Korean attack, but they also concede that North Korea possesses numerically superior forces deployed in strike formations within a relatively short marching distance from Seoul, South Korea's capital and largest economic and population center. U.S. military planners reportedly estimate that even a highly successful effort to blunt a North Korea attack would be costly in terms of casualties and collateral damage, and that the attack might reach Seoul before being thrown back.(31) Despite these uncertainties, a credible threat that the United States might resort to force remains an important factor for U.S. negotiators and North Korean decisionmakers.


U.S. options are further constrained by the preference, if not absolute necessity, of working in tandem with its regional allies -- South Korea and Japan -- and in gaining the cooperation of China. As a permanent UN Security Council member with the right of vetoing resolutions, and North Korea's major trading partner and oil supplier, China is in a position to play a pivotal role in helping or impeding U.S. diplomatic efforts. All of these actors broadly share U.S. concerns and goals, but to date have preferred a low-key approach for various reasons.

South Korea

The South Korean government of President Kim Young Sam has several important but conflicting concerns about the U.S. and international response to the North Korean nuclear program. They tend to pull South Korean policy in different directions, leading South Korean officials to appear sometimes "softer" and sometimes "harder" than U.S. leaders. Differences in South Korea's approach also reportedly reflect policy differences among various bureaucratic actors in the Kim Young Sam administration. Significantly, South Korean officials have not complained publicly about a lack of US-ROK consultations over North Korea, suggesting that the extraordinary high-level bilateral interchanges over North Korea during the past year have worked at least reasonably well to reassure Seoul that the United States would not act in opposition to its interests.

South Korean goals include:

  • avoiding a devastating war on the peninsula (but winning should the North attack);

  • engaging North Korea in a dialogue leading to change in Pyongyang's isolationist and extremist policies and related internal repression, in favor of a more open and interdependent view of world affairs;

  • working closely with the U.S., Japan, China and others to block suspected North Korean efforts to use their "nuclear card" to gain unilateral military-political-economic concessions from the U.S. and others that would work against South Korean interests;
  • .seeking to avoid an East German-style collapse of the North and instead promoting a more gradual movement towards eventual unification under principles embraced by the South.

President Kim warned publicly in June 1993 -- a period of active U.S. consultation regarding possible initiatives to North Korea -- that the Clinton Administration should avoid unilateral concessions to the North. More recently, in the face of a hardening U.S. attitude, South Korea appeared to seek a softer line.(32) In early and mid-February 1994, in the midst of a dispute between Pyongyang and the IAEA over the scope of a one-time inspection of its declared nuclear facilities, the Kim government sought to quell calls for economic sanctions. After North Korea agreed on February 15 to the IAEA's terms for a one-time inspection, Seoul indicated reluctance about the deployment of U.S. Patriot missiles. President Kim and his cabinet also associated themselves with a softer line during high-level visits to Japan and China in late March, emphasizing the need for continued diplomacy rather than sanctions or other pressures. In midApril, in an apparent effort to induce North Korea to allow the IAEA to complete an inspection of its reprocessing facility, the Kim government reversed course over the contentious issue of whether envoys needed to be exchanged between the North and South as a precondition for further high level talks between Washington and Pyongyang.(33)

In addition to alternately worrying about the United States being too hawkish or too concession-minded, South Korea also appears nervous about being on the sidelines if the United States and North Korea resume serious negotiations. Hence the Kim government is still relying on the Clinton Administration to persuade Pyongyang to start up the long-delayed inter-Korean dialogue on a peninsular denuclearization accord, even though it has agreed to its temporary deferral.


The Japanese government fully shares American concerns about a nuclear armed North Korea, but has been very reluctant to go along with U.S. threats to impose economic sanctions on the North. Instead, while Japan seeks to maintain solidarity with the United States on the issue, it strongly prefers an approach emphasizing patient diplomacy. Japan's cautious stance, and similar reluctance about confrontation on the part of South Korea, noted above, have been major factors in Clinton Administration policy shifts on the issue of seeking UN sanctions.(34)

Japanese policy has been complicated by the unique status of its 700,000 or so ethnic Koreans, as well as long-standing ideological and financial connections between North Korea and the Socialist party in Japan. A large majority of the Koreans are said to have ties to the pro-North Korean Chosen Soren ("Organization of Korean Residents in Japan"). Remittances from ethnic Koreans to their relatives and Chosen Soren funds amounting to as much as $1 billion or more annually are a major source of hard currency for Pyongyang.

The domestic political ramifications of the North Korean issue became more sensitive in the wake of the April 1994 resignation of Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who headed a seven-party coalition consisting of defectors from the formerly ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Socialists and several smaller parties. A sharp conflict over Japan's stance on the North Korean question between ex-LDP "hawks" and Socialist "doves" nearly caused the collapse of the fragile coalition. The Socialists resisted an effort by some ex-LDP leaders to gain adoption of a platform plank calling for legislative changes to facilitate cooperation with any UN-sponsored sanctions or collective security actions. In the end, the coalition parties agreed only to a bland compromise formula supporting cooperation with the United States in accordance with Japan's constitution. The subsequent defection of the Socialists from the coalition, leaving newly chosen Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata at the head of a minority government, raised further questions about the inclination or even willingness of the Japanese government to take a strong stance on the issue.

Many analysts judge that Japan would have little choice but to support economic sanctions or other measures regardless of the politics of the issue. Reportedly, Japan and the United States already have discussed and come to agreement on the role that Japan would play, including, by implication, a cutoff of remittances from ethnic Koreans.(35) Nonetheless, a move to impose sanctions under UN Security Council authority probably would provoke a political crisis, and any effort to impose sanctions outside the UN framework, or involve Japanese Self-Defense

Forces in a military emergency, could create a constitutional crisis as well. A May 1994 proposal by the coalition government to develop legislation that would facilitate Japan's role in supporting sanctions or responding to a military contingency such as a naval blockade drew strong criticism from the Socialists as well as the LDP, and threatened further delays in passing an overdue fiscal year 1994 budget.(36)


From a strategic point of view, Chinese officials understand that a nuclear North Korea risks military confrontation on the peninsula, and could prompt South Korea, Japan and possibly Taiwan to develop nuclear weapons -- greatly complicating China's security and diverting attention and resources away from Beijing's top priority, economic modernization. Beijing appears to be in a quandary, however, as to what to do about it.

On the one hand, China is reluctant to put pressure on North Korea. Apart from any remaining sense of "Socialist solidarity," Beijing would be highly disturbed by the prospect of a military conflict in a neighboring area. Beijing also feels a need to keep open lines of communication with North Korea as critical to maintaining Chinese influence on the peninsula and helping to preserve peace there. Beijing therefore wants to avoid sanctions that would require cutting off Chinese supplies of food, oil and other goods. Beijing also wants to preserve its special channels of communication with the North Korean Army and Party--elements of power likely to be pivotal in determining the leadership succession in Pyongyang following the death of Kim Il Sung.

On the other hand, Beijing has a strong interest in not alienating important international actors like the United States, Japan, members of the UN Security Council and South Korea. They provide the markets, infrastructure development loans and aid that have been of critical importance in China's economic modernization. If those actors were uniform in pushing a tougher stance toward North Korea, China might feel compelled to go along. As of the end of May 1994, Beijing's public posture continued to be to oppose sanctions .


Although the above external constraints have served to limit the Clinton Administration's room for maneuver, the United States still retains a number of alternative policy approaches and options. The advantages and disadvantages of these options depend on what assumptions are made about the degree of threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program, the nature of Pyongyang's own calculations of its interests and options, the degree of risk that U.S. policymakers are willing to accept and, in the case of some options, the extent to which the United States is prepared to force the issue with China, Japan and South Korea.

The choice of U.S. options will be influenced strongly by North Korea's response to diplomacy and the degree of certainty about the state of development of its nuclear weapons capability. A number of analysts still find the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear activities less alarming than the possibility that U.S. pressure will lead to a new war. While an effort to obtain the imposition of UN Security Council-approved economic sanctions would likely be the next

logical step following a failure of diplomacy, the emergence of a credible North Korean nuclear capability could also move the policy debate from its current focus on diplomacy to consideration of new military measures.

Six options are discussed below, generally in ascending order of severity and risk. All of the options are based, in part, on proposals already in the public domain or approaches currently being followed by the Clinton Administration.


According to some analysts, while the Clinton Administration lacks good short term options to rein in North Korea's nuclear program, the longer term outlook is more sanguine due to the regime's impending implosion. The option of waiting out North Korea is preferred by some U.S. analysts and might be the real Administration strategy, according to some press analysis. The expectation of collapse also is said to be one reason for South Korean and Japanese "timidity."(37) This option conforms most closely to the preferred course of China and to a number of Japanese political leaders.

This option assumes that North Korea's nuclear efforts are motivated primarily by the wellplaced fear that its system will go the way of the former Soviet Union, and that it seeks to play the card itl order to gain economic benefits that could stave off its collapse. This scenario sees falling industrial production and food output, an accelerating income gap between the North and South and eroding political legitimacy of the regime as likely to make it go the way of the former Soviet Union. Although one response might be to deliver the sought-after economic and security benefits in return for North Korea's acceptance of international safeguards on its nuclear program, as in Option 2, below, this option would take a more diffident approach -- i.e, fewer "carrots" and fewer"sticks."

Under this option the United States, its allies and the IAEA would keep pressure on North Korea to restore the continuity of the inspection regime, but would neither adopt a stance likely to trigger aggressive action by Pyongyang nor make any unreciprocated major concessions to its demands. The North would remain isolated internationally and cut off from the benefits that might accrue from a normalization of its economic ties with the developed countries. Among other potential benefits, this option would not entail U.S. dependence on China.

Based on the assumption of a relatively early collapse of the regime, say within the next twoto-five years, U.S. and allied policy might seek to maintain enough contacts with "pragmatic" elements in the North Korean hierarchy to promote a "soft-landing" either involving the absorption of the North by the South, or the transition to a post-communist regime. In either case, it might then be a relatively easy matter to achieve a denuclearized peninsula. A major danger of this option is the assumption of the inevitability of North Korea's collapse. Some nations may see advantages in aiding and trading with Pyongyang and internal opposition may not be organized enough to be effective, even after Kim's death. If a collapse failed to materialize, the United States and its regional allies would in all likelihood face a nuclear armed North Korea. (38) In addition, the credibility of U.S. nonproliferation policy and IAEA safeguards would be eroded, which could encourage other countries to flaunt their obligations.


This approach, which conformed generally to U.S. policy at least until late May, 1994, would offer positive incentives to North Korea, as well as pressure, with an emphasis on getting stepby-step North Korean compliance with inspections. It takes a more serious view of the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program than in Option 1, and is willing to pay a price to contain or eliminate the nuclear proliferation danger. The positive incentives offered by the United States would include high-level diplomatic dialogue, movement toward normal economic and political relations, and security concessions such as canceling the Team Spirit military exercises. Significantly, U.S. officials would not expend great efforts in "twisting arms" of allies and associates to adopt a tougher policy toward the North.

This option assumes that the North Korean program is dangerous, but views that problem in the context of the threat posed by possible misunderstanding and conflict on the peninsula, as well as the burden on South Korea from a sudden North Korean economic collapse. It puts a premium on the need to maintain close consultations and cooperation among the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China and others with a direct interest in the peninsula, and defers as far as seems prudent to the reluctance of these Asian powers to press North Korea on this matter. It also accepts the generally held view of Asian countries that the most feasible solution to the North Korean problem involves efforts to promote change in North Korea's isolated and extremist policies and related political repression in favor of a more open and interdependent approach to the outside world.(39)

If North Korea were to accept international inspections that would preclude further nuclear development, some supporters of this approach might argue for accepting this "half a loaf' at least as an interim goal even if questions remained about what Pyongyang might have done regarding fissile material produced earlier. One important consideration would be the impact of any compromise agreement with North Korea on the integrity of the IAEA nuclear proliferation control regime.

The strengths of this approach are that it would sustain at least short term harmonious relations with Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing and avoid giving Pyongyang grounds for precipitous military action. It would do so at the expense of allowing North Korea leeway to covertly develop some nuclear weapons, with significant future risks, and calling into question the ability of the U.S. and other powers to curb the spread of nuclear weapons to sensitive parts of the world -- a top priority concern for U.S. national security for the foreseeable future. U.S. positive incentives to Pyongyang also could suggest to other wouldbe nuclear powers, including radical states, that they may build international legitimacy and support by pursing a covert nuclear program.


Seeking UN Security Council authority for imposing economic sanctions on North Korea represents the most likely next step if diplomatic initiatives fail, and the one that the

Administration now appears to be actively pursuing. Many analysts judge that an effective sanctions regime would quickly bring North Korea's industries and perhaps the whole economy to a virtual standstill, and even just the denial of remittances from Japan would provide considerable leverage.

This course was urged on the Administration in mid-May 1994 by key Members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell and Minority Leader Bob Dole, after North Korea's move to replace the fuel load in its reactor without providing adequate access to LAEA inspectors.(40) Calls for sanctions likely will increase if the current stalemate on IAEA access to the refueling operations is unresolved.

Although Japan could be expected to support sanctions, however reluctantly, senior Administration officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Robert Gallucci, have acknowledged that China's support cannot be assumed.(41) Even if China were to abstain on a sanctions vote, its participation would be necessary to make the sanctions effective .

Alternatively, the United States could try to persuade Japan to close down money transfers to North Korea independent of UN Security Council action, though this would appear to be very difficult in view of Japan's emphasis thus far on the necessity of acting under the umbrella of its international obligations to the United Nations, rather than its bilateral ties with the United States. A major weakness in the latter approach would be the limited ability of the Japanese authorities to prevent transfers via third countries.

Despite the limitations of this option, the Administration may have little choice but to attempt it if diplomacy fails. In a best case situation, the painstaking and patient exploration of all diplomatic avenues will have paved the way for its acceptance as a necessity, even by China. As a number of commentators have noted, however, the effectiveness of international economic sanctions as a means of getting determined, radical states to abandon their policies has not been very impressive. Either a failed effort to obtain sanctions or an ineffective sanctions regime could bring on further U.S. foreign policy complications, weaken respect for U.S. and UN effectiveness, strengthen North Korea's confidence in its nuclear card and make the confrontation more dangerous. A worst case situation would have North Korea follow through on its threat to regard sanctions as "an act of war," and respond with an attack on the South.


This option could be considered if diplomacy fails to bring North Korea substantially back into compliance with its NPT obligations or at ]east contain its nuclear capability at the current level. This option likely would be considered in tandem with an effort to secure international economic sanctions, or as an alternative should the United States fail to gain support for sanctions.

Once American policymakers conclude that North Korea will not accept constraints on its nuclear activities, they may pursue strategies aimed at dealing with an assumed nucleararmed North Korea. One option could be consideration of measures to reshape the U.S. military structure in Northeast Asia and the Northwest Pacific in order to strengthen deterrence against North Korean military moves against South Korea. The aim would be to convince North Korean leaders that the possession of nuclear weapons did not enhance their prospects for winning a war on the Korean peninsula. The United States could continue talking to North Korea, in order to explain U.S. actions and motives to Pyongyang and better react to any major changes in North Korean policy, but would not postpone or cancel military reenforcement steps out of concern over the effect on the prospects of negotiations. The United States could still seek economic sanctions against North Korea, either through the UN Security Council or through a scheme worked out with South Korea and Japan; but the objectives would be more those of long term pressure and regime weakening than as part of an immediate negotiating strategy.

The dispatch of a Patriot missile air defense battalion to South Korea points to the kinds of actions the United States would take under this option. Other steps might include the deployment of a second aircraft carrier task force to the Western Pacific, the deployment of more tactical aircraft to Japan and South Korea, and a return of B-52 bombers to Guam (from where, in the 1980's they regularly conducted exercises over the Korean peninsula~. A step with potentially more serious implications, both at home and on the Korean peninsula, would be the reinforcement of the 37,000 U.S. troops currently in South Korea.

The United States also could reintroduce tactical nuclear weapons into South Korea or once again place nuclear weapons on board ships of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. President Bush ordered the removal of nuclear weapons from U.S. surface ships worldwide and from South Korea in 1991. During floor action on the Foreign Relations Authorization Bill (S. 1281) on February 1, 1994, the Senate adopted a non-binding amendment introduced by Senator Charles Robb, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, expressing the Sense of the Senate that the President should prepare for the reintroduction of tactical nuclear weapons into South Korea.(42) Although the section was deleted in conference action, it showed congressional receptiveness to reconsidering U.S. tactical nuclear weapons policy.

One obstacle to this option could be South Korean and/or Japanese reluctance to support decisions to increase U.S. military strength or station additional personnel or weapons in their territories. The South Korean Government earlier hesitated to approve the deployment of Patriot mlssiles and the re-scheduling of the Team Spirit military exercise, on grounds that such steps might provoke North Korea.

The financial cost of force augmentation would be fairly high. The Clinton Administration might ask Japan and South Korea to bear some of these costs. Sentiment for more burden sharing likely would emerge in Congress the U.S. media, and the American public. There also could be domestic opposition to force increases based on the view that South Korea is economically strong enough to provide for its own defense and that U.S. interests in Korea were not sufficient to justify provoking the North and risking a war.


The confrontation over inspection of North Korea's nuclear facilities comes at a time when the Defense Department has just begun to consider counterproliferation as a potential mission. Counterproliferation, in this context, means military attacks to destroy or neutralize another nation's nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons capabilities.

With North Korea's recent intransigent and sometimes bellicose posture regarding its nuclear program, the possibility of mounting a counterproliferation mission has been raised, but generally considered a last resort. Because counterproliferation missions are a unique concept with little historical precedent, it is difficult to assess what threshold, short of imminent North Korean attack or threatening deployment of nuclear weapons, should be set for the decision to undertake them.(43) Though the United States and its allies targeted some suspected Iraqi weapons facilities in the Persian Gulf War, these strikes were part of a larger overall war effort and no nuclear weapons facilities were struck.

That the intended targets would be nuclear reactors or weapons facilities would appear to rule out airstrikes alone, and require the insertion of special operations-type forces and nuclear specialists for whatever time is required to neutralize the weapons or facilities -- assuming North Korean defenses could be breached.(44) In order to avoid the widespread contamination that could arise from attacking the operating reactor or reprocessing plant, the attack presumably would be aimed at support equipment such as power systems. Much of the equipment connected with the Yongbyon reactor and reprocessing facility is not hardened, so in theory the operations could stopped without creating a "meltdown" or radiation threat. However, it can also be expected that subsequent extraction of U.S. forces would prove considerably more difficult than the initial assault.

Though counterproliferation missions are described as limited military missions in terms of objectives, duration, and forces involved the targeted country would presumably consider the attacks an act of war. The tactical success of counterproliferation mission could be lost in the consequences of another war on the Korean peninsula. Hence, in the North Korean case, such a mission would probably have to be considered not as an isolated military operation, but rather as part of a larger regional military strategic plan.

A counterproliferation mission in North Korea would also raise constitutional and international legal questions. First, what basis would President Clinton use to order such attacks, apart from his powers as Commander-in-Chief? Would defense of U.S. forces stationed in Korea be sufficient? What form of congressional approval or consultation would be required in advance for a military action that could result in a larger-scale conflict? Second, it is not clear what basis in international law exists for counterproliferation missions. They are not included as enforcement measures in the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, or any other arms proliferation agreement. Though, theoretically, United Nations Security Council support or authorization could be sought, the likelihood of receiving it appears low, especially given China's ability to veto such a resolution. The UN's recent reticence about taking military action in Bosnia also does not augur well for a decision to support the use of force. Without such sanction, the United States could find it difficult to justify its actions to the international community and perhaps a significant segment of the American public.


This option at present has only limited U.S. domestic support and no significant support within the Clinton Administration or Congress. It would likely only be considered in the face of an impossible diplomatic situation based on a combination of factors, including:

  • weakening resolve on the part of South Korea and/or Japan to make difficult diplomatic and military steps, or commit the necessary resources for effective confrontation;

  • continued progress by Pyongyang in building an effective nuclear weapons capability;

  • outright Chinese or Russian opposition to U.S. policies, leading to paralysis in the UN Security Council;

  • the emergence of sentiment for withdrawal in the U.S. public based on a perceived lack of sufficient U.S. interests at stake or a perception of inadequate support from South Korea and/or Japan, and growing opposition to having U.S. forces serve as a "trip wire" against a possibly nuclear armed North Korea.

The option would be based on a U.S. view that there were no other practical options to deal with North Korea's nuclear weapons program besides substantially meeting North Korea's bottom-line demand as the price of giving up its nuclear weapons program. Under this option, the United States would make a new effort to gain North Korean compliance with full IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for concessions regarding the American military presence .

Given North Korea's longstanding goal of securing a withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, its leaders might in theory, at least, be willing to allow inspections of their nuclear facilities in return for a reduction or elimination of the U.S. military presence. In view of North Korea's negotiating style and record to date, however, it would be just as likely to seek to use its nuclear card as a way of gaining its goals without making concessions, and even increasing its demands.

While a U.S. withdrawal based on a credible non-proliferation regime might be security-enhancing, a diminished U.S. troop presence or a withdrawal based on anything less than a verifiable, inter-Korean confidence building system and full-scope IAEA nonproliferation safeguards, could well be highly destabilizing. Apart from critically weakening or eliminating the longstanding, effective U.S. deterrence role, a U.S. withdrawal without a verifiable nonproliferation regime would also likely cause South Korea to reconsider producing nuclear weapons. Such a train of events on the Korean peninsula could lead to a Japanese reassessment of the reliability of the U.S. security role in the Western Pacific and Japanese decisions to rearm and/or shift Japan's nuclear program towards weapons production.


So long as the issue remains the focus of diplomatic action, Congress has limited direct means to determine U.S. strategy. During the past year, however, Congress has given increased attention to the issue and congressional opinion has formed part of the context in which the Administration has formulated its policies. In general, the trend in congressional attitudes over the past year has mirrored a wider shift in U.S., allied and international opinion toward increasing concern about Pyongyang's behavior, and calls for stronger U.S. and international action.

Congress has held a number of hearings on the present crisis, and individual Members have introduced legislation seeking to emphasize grave concern about the threat posed by North Korea's actions and to strengthen the hand of the President in negotiations. The Senate held an intense floor debate on the North Korean issue on February 1, 1994 during action on S. 1201, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. Among other actions, it adopted a "sense of the Congress" amendment introduced by Sen. John McCain calling for an international consensus to isolate North Korea economically until it agrees to the reestablishment of IAEA safeguards, and urging the President to undertake various measures to reinforce the U.S. military position in South Korea, including the deployment of Patriot missile batteries.(45)

Congress largely adopted the Senate amendments as Sec. 529 of the conference report on the Foreign Relations Authorization Act.(46) In their explanation of the provisions, the conferees stressed the need to continue a diplomatic strategy of isolating North Korea so long as it failed to abide by its NPT obligations. The conference report also encouraged "strong and expeditious action" by the UN Security Council. Failing that, the House-Senate conferees said that the United States should unilaterally seek to isolate North Korea. A broadly supported House resolution (H.J. Res. 292), introduced on November 15, 1993, would approve and encourage the President's use of all means necessary to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat. That resolution had not been acted upon as of early May, 1994.

Short of a resort to military force by the Administration, Congress can continue to exercise its oversight function and seek to influence policy through the passage of "sense of the Congress" resolutions and other measures. The defense authorization and appropriations committees also have a role in influencing and facilitating any measures to increase U.S. military deployments and preparedness.

If the situation in North and South Korea becomes one where hostilities appear imminent or actually occur, that would raise a new set of issues relating to the role of Congress under the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Should war break out, or should U.S. forces be deployed to Korea in anticipation of imminent hostilities, the War Powers Resolution would become relevant. The appendix at the end of this report summarizes the applicability of the resolution to such an eventuality.

In the event that the Administration should choose to carry out a counterproliferation strike or other preemptive attack, it appears likely that the Administration would consult with senior Members of both parties and houses. The requirements of such consultation under the War Powers Resolution are still a subject of active debate, however, given the conditions of extreme secrecy under which such operations would likely take place.


Although Congress shares in war powers under the Constitution, many Members are concerned that in an increasing number of situations the President is getting the United States involved in armed conflicts or potential conflicts without any authorization by Congress. The 1950-1953 Korean War constituted the first major post-World War II U.S. military involvement not sanctioned by a congressional declaration of war. The current tension on the Korean Peninsula makes it possible that warfare could occur again as a result of an attack by North Korea, a gradual escalation of sanctions, or a strike against North Korean nuclear facilities.

The United States has a Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea, but this does not affect the role of Congress in any decision concerning war. Under the Treaty, signed October 1, 1953, the United States and South Korea each recognize that an attack on either would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that "it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes."(47) Section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 states that authority to introduce U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities was not to be inferred from any treaty unless implemented by legislation stating it was intended to constitute specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution.(48)

The Treaty, however, has been implemented by large numbers of U.S. forces being stationed in South Korea, however. The legislative history of the War Powers Resolution suggests that the assignment of U.S. forces to headquarters operations in the United Nations Command in South Korea did not require additional statutory authorization under the 1973 legislation. In the event of an attack by North Korea on U.S. forces stationed in South Korea, it is generally acknowledged that the President as Commander in Chief would have the authority, and duty, to defend against the attack, and legally would not require any specific authority from Congress. The War Powers Resolution specifies "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces" as the only situation that the President as Commander-in-Chief may introduce forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities without a declaration of war or other specific statutory authority.(49)

The War Powers Resolution establishes other requirements and standards that would apply however hostilities might begin. The first concerns consultation; the President is to consult with Congress, if possible before the introduction of forces and regularly after the introduction until the forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed. The second concerns reporting; the President is to report to Congress within 48 hours after he has deployed the forces abroad in specified situations. The third concerns congressional authorization; if a report is submitted or should have been submitted that forces have been introduced into hostilities, the President is to terminate within sixty days the use of such Armed Forces unless Congress authorizes them to remain. It should be noted that these requirements have been questioned on constitutional grounds by every President since 1973 and sometimes ignored or interpreted to not apply to a particular situation. U.S. participation in any preemptive military action that might be authorized by the U.N. Security Council would also fall under the terms of the War Powers Resolution.(50)


(1) The authors acknowledge with appreciation the technical advice and guidance provided by Zachary Davis, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Marjorie Ann Browne, Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division, and production assistance from Nancy Givens.

(2) Helen Dewar, Clinton, Congress at Brink of Foreign Policy Dispute. Washington Post, May 16, 1994: Al, A10.

(3) Because of the fixed rate of decay of uranium the age of the rods currently in the reactor can be determined by various sampling techniques. as can the existence of reprocessing activities.

(4) The evolution of this confrontation is described in more detail in CRS Issue Brief IB91141, North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program (periodically updated) [by Larry A. Niksch]

(5) Washington Post, May 7, 1994: A20.

(6) Bill Gertz, North Korean Nuclear Threat Grows, Intelligence Chiefs Warn Senators. Washington Times, Jan. 26, 1994: A16; John Burton, U.S. Fingers Crossed Over North Korea. Financial Times, Jan. 21, 1994: 5.

(7)Far Eastern Economic Review, Mar. 31, 1994: 14-15; Nucleonics Week, Mar. 24, 1994: 1-2.

(8) Thomas W. Lippman, Perry Offers Dire Picture of Failure to Block North Korean Nuclear Weapons. Washington Post, May 4, 1994: A29.

(9) Shinn, Paul. U.S. Said to Stop South Korea's Nuke Bomb Plans. Washington Times, March 29, 1994. p. All. In 1970 the United States reportedly pressured South Korea to abandon plans to build a French-designed reprocessing facility that would have produced plutonium from spent uranium reactor fuel.

(10) Among other indicators, at the Tokyo G-7 summit meeting Japan successfullly diluted the final communique language on extending the NPT. clayton Jones, Korea Prompts Japan to Review No-Nukes Policy. Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 11, 1993: 4.

(11) Washington post, July 29, 1993: A18.

(12) Japan Times Weekly International, Jan. 31-Feb.6, 1994: 5.

(13) N. Korea's Air Force Chiefs Visits Iran for Closer Ties. Washington Times, Feb. 25, 1994: A15. An Israeli Lesson for North Korea? The Economist Foreign Report, April 22, 1993: 1-2.

(14) For further information, see The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty: Preparations for a Vote on its Extension. CRS Issue Brief 93046, updated regularly.

(15) For a summary of these disagreements see Richard D. Fisher, Jr., North Korea's Nuclear Threat Challenges the World and Tests America's Resolve. The Heritage Foundation, Asian Studies Center Backgrounder. No. 129, Feb. 23, 1994. p. 4-5. See also David E. Sanger, U.S. Gets Warning From North Korea. New York Times, Feb. 3, 1994: A9; and a defense of the Administration's handling of the negotiations in an OpEd article by Under Secretary of State for Security Affairs, Lynn Davis ("Korea: No Capitulation"). Washington Post, Jan. 26, 1994: A21.

(16) David E. Sanger, U.S. Gets Warning from North Korea. New York Times, Feb. 3, 1994: A9.

(17) Washington Post, Mar. 4, 1994: Al, 28.

(18) Washington Post, Mar. 4, 1994: Al, 28.

(19) T. R. Reid, N. Korea Denounces Nuclear Inspection Agency. Washington Post, Mar. 19, 1994: A16; Report by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Addendum, Mar. 23, 1994 (INFCIRC/403). 5 pages. The Director-General reported that the restrictions imposed by North Korea violated the terms of IAEA "talking points" that it had accepted, and that "the restrictions imposed on sampling and gamma-mapping amounted to new conditions which, if they had been advanced in discussions in Vienna, would have blocked agreement on the inspection." (Report, para 12.)

(20) John Burton, US and Seoul Plan for Military Manoeuvres. Financial Times, Apr. 21, 1994: 4; R. Jeffrey Smith, Perry Warns North Korea of Sanctions. Washington Post, Apr. 23, 1994: A7.

(21) Stewart Stogel, U.S., N. Korea Set to Begin Talks on Nuclear Dispute. Washington Times, May 24, 1994: A13.

(22) Stewart Stogel, U.S., N. Korea Set to Begin Talks on Nuclear Dispute. Washington Times, May 24, 1994: A13.

(23) Michael R. Gordon, Korea Speeds Nuclear Fuel Removal, Impeding Inspection. New York Times, May 28, 1994: 3.

(24) David E. Sanger, North Korea Foils Efforts to Halt its Nuclear Plans. New York Times, May 29, 1994: 1,8.

(25) Eric Schmitt, 5 U.N. Nations Urge North Korea to Preserve Atomic Fuel Evidence. New York Times, May 30, 1994: 1, 31.

(26) CNN report, May 31, 1994.

(27) A detailed discussion of North Korea's objectives and tactics is contained in North Korea: Policy Determinants, Alternative Outcomes, IJ.S. Policy Approaches. CRS Report 93-612 F, Jun. 24, 1993, 23 p. [By Rinn-Sup Shinn].

(28) David E. Sanger, North Korea's Game Looks a Lot Like Nuclear Blackmail. New York Times, Dec. 12, 1993. Sec. 4, p. 6.

(29) According to unclassified CIA data, North Korea's two-way trade dropped from $5.5 billion in 1988 to $3.2 billion in 1992. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, 1990 and 1993.

(30) For a more detailed discussion of U.S. military options see Korean Crisis, 1994: Military, Geography, Military Balance, Military Options. CRS Report 94311 S, dated April 11, 1994 [by John M. Collins.]

(31) Barton Gellman, Trepidation at Root of U.S. Korean Policy. Washington Post, Dec. 12,1993: Al,A49.

(32) In a February 23, 1994, interview, President Kim acknowledged the appearance of alternately appearing more hawkish or more dovish than Washington, but insisted that this represented "tactical flexibility" and that Washington and Seoul remained in agreement on a strategy of convincing Pyongyang that its stood to reap economic and political benefits from giving up its nuclear weapons program. David E. Sanger, South Korean Expects Atomic Backdown by North." New York Times, Feb. 24, 1994: A8.

(33) Smith, Jeffrey R. S. Korea Offers Gesture to North. Washington Post, Apr. 16, 1994: A13; Smith, Jeffrey R. S. Korea Takes Softer Stand Than U.S. on the North. Washington Post, Apr. 24, 1994: A22.

(34) See, for instance, David E. Sanger, U.S. Delay Urged on Korea Sanction. New York Times, Nov. 4, 1993: A9.

(35) The information was based on an interview given by U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry to Japanese reporters. Japan Digest, May 19, 1994, p. 2. Reportedly, the Japanese Ministry of Finance already has conducted a preparatory study on measures to stop Japanese banks from facilitating direct money transfers to North Korea and increasing luggage searches to stop members of the Chosen Soren from leaving with large amounts of cash. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), Pacific Rim Economic Review, Apr. 20, 1994: 7-8.

(36) Hidenaka Kato and Satoshi Isaka, Tough Choices for Hata Over Korea Issue. Nikkei Weekly, May 23, 1994: 4.

(37) David E. Sanger, North Korea's Game Looks a Lot Like Nuclear Blackmail. New York Times, Dec. 12, 1993. Sec. 4, p. 6. This option is discussed in a December 1993 RAND publication as "A Strategy of Patience." See Zalmay M. Khalilzad, Paul K. Davis, and Abram N. Shulsky, Stopping the North Korean Nuclear Program. RAND Issue Paper, Dec. 1993, p. 3.

(38) The December 1993 RAND study noted above judges this option as unlikely to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.

(39) For a recent restatement of the rationale for this option, see Donald P. Gregg, Offer Korea A Carrot. New York Times, May 19, 1994: A25. Gregg, a former CIA official, also served as foreign policy advisor to then-Vice President George Bush, and Ambassador to South Korea.

(40) Washington Post, May 16, 1994: Al, 10.

(41) Michael Gordon, U.S. Aide Admits North Korea Nuclear Policy May Not Work. New York Times, May 6, 1994: A6.

(42) Congressional Record, Feb. 1, 1994, op. cit. p. S495-497.

(43) In June 1981, the Israeli Air Force undertook a purely counterproliferation mission, destroying an Iraqi nuclear reactor in Baghdad. The reactor, however, was still under construction and did not contain radioactive materials.

(44) This calculation could be altered by the knowledge that North Korea actually intended to use a nuclear weapon, in which case a preemptive detonation could be seen as the lesser disaster.

(45) U.S. Congress. Senate. Congressional Record, Feb. i, 1994. p. S. 478-489.

(46) H. Report 103-482, Apr. 25,1994. Signed into law on April 30, 1994 (P.L. 103-236.)

(47) For additional discussion and text of the Treaty, see South Korea: U.S. Defense Obligations, by Larry A. Niksch. CRS Report 94-300 F, April 1, 1994.

(48) Sec. 8 (a) (2),

(49) Sec. 2 (c), P.L. 93-148, November 7, 1973.

(50) For further discussion, see War Powers and U.N. Military Actions: A Brief Background of the Legislative Framework, by Ellen C. Collier. CRS Report 931058 F, December 21, 1993. 6 p.

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