Fletcher in the News

China, U.S. Seen at Odds on Merits of Restarting North Korea Nuclear Talks: Prof. Lee Weighs In

Nuclear Threat Initiative

Sung-Yoon Lee is the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation Professor in Korean Studies and Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

Multi-nation nuclear negotiations with North Korea may not start any time soon, as the United States and other participating countries do not appear to share China's zeal for starting talks without any denuclearization commitment from Pyongyang, some analysts say.

In a bid to reinvigorate the nuclear talks process, senior Chinese negotiator Wu Dawei met last week in Washington with U.S. special envoy for North Korea Glyn Davies. Wu then told reporters he was "confident" participants in the six-party talks would figure out a way to resume the negotiations before traveling to North Korea…

…Still, even a one-to-two-year halt of North Korea's march toward acquiring a credible nuclear weapons capability is important, said Sung-yoon Lee, an assistant professor of Korean Studies at [The Fletcher School at] Tufts University.

President Obama is understandably skeptical of returning to talks with North Korea, but "the option of ignoring North Korea isn't really a good option," Lee told GSN.

"The longer we wait … the greater impact to come" when the North carries out its next nuclear test, he said.

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