Fletcher in the News

North Korea's Nuclear Test Could Destablize the Region: Dean Bosworth

Stephen Bosworth is the Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

North Korea’s Missile Test: More Than Just an Effort to Get Washington’s Attention

Pyongyang’s missile test Tuesday is evidence that North Korea is inching ever closer to its nuclear goal, warns Ambassador Stephen Bosworth.

The ambassador served as President Obama’s Special Representative for North Korea from 2009 to 2011.

“I’m worried about the consequences of this for stability in northeast Asia, which is a vital region from our point of view and the point of view of the rest of the world,” says Amb. Bosworth. “It puts pressure on people in Japan who believe Japan should become a nuclear weapons state. It puts pressure on South Korea for the same reason. It puts pressure on Beijing and the US.”

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Marco Werman: Ambassador Stephen Bosworth has spent his career trying to talk with the North Koreans. He was President Obama’s Special Representative for North Korea from 2009 to 2011. He’s also served as US ambassador to South Korea. He is currently the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Bosworth says today’s nuclear test shows North Korea inching ever closer to its goal.

Stephen Bosworth: They have to miniaturize the nuclear device, they have to be able to mount it on a missile, and we have no evidence that they’ve been able to do that, but clearly, the more they test both missiles and nuclear devices, the further they are along toward that goal. So these tests are very bad news for us.

Werman: They have announced, though, that they’ve miniaturized a nuclear device and they did launch that rocket indicating that, you know, if you do the math, they probably could do both.

Bosworth: Well, we don’t know. But it’s possible. I don’t think they’re yet at that stage, but clearly they’re further along than they were a few months ago and further along, certainly, than we wish they were.

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