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North Korea’s apparent demand for security guarantees as its price for denuclearization also raises red flags, as Pyongyang has in the past asked for the withdrawal of U. forces from South Korea—an almost certain deal breaker. Perhaps the biggest reason to doubt that the North Korean regime will give up its nuclear weapons is the fact that it views its arsenal as the ultimate guarantee of regime survival.Indeed, the experience of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi after dismantling their WMD programs suggests that Pyongyang would be prudent to maintain its nuclear deterrent in order to defend against potential threats from the United States.
Nicholas Miller at Dartmouth takes on this question, arguing that the current approach, especially the non-proliferation treaty, can often do more harm than good.But it is to be judged by whether it is in fact advancing toward the kind of result laid out as its long-term goal.In the recent words of a perceptive critic, it is such long-term strategy that provides the "wider canvas" against which the merits of individual actions can be judged.1 So I shall try in this article to fill in and to put into focus the key elements of nonproliferation policy as they have emerged during the past year-sometimes in complex and little-publicized actions and negotiations-and to assess these elements in a long-term context.Instead of threatening preventive war and raising the risks of dangerous miscalculation, why doesn’t Washington accept the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and focus on deterring the regime from using them, achieving limits on the size or sophistication of the arsenal, or reducing the risk of conflict on the Peninsula?Much of the answer to this question lies in the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, the cornerstone of contemporary efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.In fact, nonproliferation policy is much more like a large construction project than an adversary contest.It may, to be sure, never follow the precise blueprints of its architects, which will always need a degree of improvisation and adjustment. Nye is Deputy to the Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.He chairs the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation that formulated the Carter Administration's policy.Perhaps it is hardly surprising that public attention during 1977 tended to focus on his initial highly visible actions and especially on their confrontational aspects.Both critics and sympathizers tended to score what they saw as the Administration's policy as if it were a football game with clear-cut winners and losers, and in the process the wider outlines of policy were sometimes obscured.