Fletcher in the News

Dean Stephen Bosworth on the Reality of Denuclearization in N. Korea

The Wall Street Journal

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

Bosworth: Get Real on the V in CVID

The former U.S. point man on North Korean diplomacy, Amb. Stephen Bosworth, is making the rounds in Seoul this week with a sharp message: it’s time for the countries pushing North Korea to denuclearize to acknowledge they may never be able to get a verifiable deal.

For years, the stated goal of U.S. and other countries that are trying to end North Korea’s nuclear pursuit has been “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” or CVID in dip-speak.

The problem is that following North Korea’s revelation in November 2010 to a visiting U.S. scientist of an operating uranium enrichment program, even if countries could persuade North Korea to accept an aid-for-denuclearization deal, there’s no way to verify they are sticking to it.

A longtime diplomat, Mr. Bosworth’s experience with North Korea dates back to 1995 when he was appointed executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, known as KEDO, which administered the construction by South Korea and the U.S. of a light-water nuclear reactor in the North. He was named U.S. ambassador to South Korea in 1997 and, in 2009, appointed by the Obama administration as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, a job he held until October last year. He is planning to retire at the end of the current academic year from his main job as dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, something he’s done for 11 years.

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