Author: Dr Thomas L Wilborn
The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) signed an unprecedented framework agreement in October 1994 to halt the latter’s nuclear weapons program, establish low-level diplomatic contacts between Washington and Pyongyang, and reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. In this study, the author argues that it also places the United States, South Korea’s historic ally and partner with South Korea in the Combined Forces Command, in a new and unfamiliar role as mediator of conflict on the peninsula. The author contends that the responsibility for implementing this complicated agreement, which involves sensitive political issues for all nations involved, falls primarily on the United States. He contends that U.S. performance of its responsibilities under the agreement will profoundly affect the strategic environment of Northeast Asia.