Fletcher in the News

More Sanctions Unlikely to Have Any Real Effect on North Korea: Dean Bosworth

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

North Korea’s Defiant Nuclear Stance Poses U.S. Quandary

North Korea’s nuclear test in defiance of global sanctions drew condemnation and vows of tough action by the United Nations Security Council as President Barack Obama warned of consequences for the regime.

The young North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is asserting his hold on dynastic power, strengthening his deterrent against regime change, and proving to his domestic audience that he will follow the “military first” policy of his father and grandfather, according to current and former U.S. officials who work on North Korea policy. …

… Eventually, said Stephen Bosworth, the Obama’s former special representative for North Korea policy, the U.S. will have to get back to the negotiating table with North Korea.

In addition to having a military objective, North Korea’s nuclear program carries political goals, said Bosworth, now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

“They want to get people’s attention, they want to be taken seriously as a nuclear weapons state, and we of course have always refused to do that,” Bosworth said in an interview.

That said, he added, the U.S. needs to offer a broader agenda with North Korea that doesn’t depend on denuclearization.

“More sanctions and more public declarations may make us feel better, but I don’t think they have any real effect on North Korea,” he said.

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