ۼ : 17-12-22 07:18
Trump Administration's Initiatives in Resolving North Koreas Nuclear Problem: Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Approach ( I )
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   (Kim &Han CTR) - .docx (89.6K) [436] DATE : 2018-01-03 17:23:23

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ø 헸 ʹ  бⰡ ϴ..( International Journal of Emerging Trends in Social Sciences, ISSN 2521-3539, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2018, pp. 41-51 )

ҷ ر ҷÿ ߴ ִ ٹ ڸ óϱ ̱ Nunn-Lugar ǿ Ƿ þƿ ش Ҽ , ̱ Umbrella Agreement üϰ, ٹ ̻ и ٹ , ׸ ÷䴽, , Ҹ Ų Cooperative Threat Reduction ( CTR )   ٿ ϴ  ǵ ۼϿϴ.

( site ( http://dongsoong65.net ) ÷ no. 453, ( 2017.12.22 ) ÷ϴ.)

 Trump Administration's Initiatives in Resolving North Koreas Nuclear Problem: Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Approach

I.                   Introduction

 In geo-political terms, the Korean peninsula, situated as a buffer zone between continental  and ocean powers, historically suffered from the expansion policies of the dominating power at many times. The US has been engaged in the peninsula since the 1950s, based on a balance of power theory, and contributed to security and stability in north-east Asia. Given the traditional power rivalry of neighboring countries, nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea is complicating the power nexus in this region, casting a bleak outlook on the possible reunification of the peninsula. South Koreans, who have enjoyed economic advantage over the North Korean regime, shocked by the recent Norths 5th nuclear tests, especially among their conservative leaders, could not even conceive of proposing a conversation on rapprochement to their counterparts. Those Presidents of the conservative parties since 2007, despite their rosy visions of a unified Korea, could not have ushered in substantial progress by their talk of conciliation between the two Koreas, emphasizing only the importance of denuclearization of North Korea.

 In their one chance for talking between the North-South military authorities, held in October 2014, the Southern part proposed an agenda of denuclearization and confidence building measures, but Northern part, disregarding those agenda of the South, raised the problem of replacing the armistice agreement with the peace agreement, and criticized the southern governments propaganda policy against the North Korean regime. The North-South relations are deadlocked, have cut off all the communication lines, including the shutdown of Kaesung Industrial Complex on February 10, 2016, are exchanging only threats of bombing their counter parts main city areas. South Korea, which would be under the conservative regime, until the presidential election in May 2017, seems to have no possibility of proposing or accepting a dialogue between the two countries. The political situation, however, has turned around to a positive environment for the relations between the two Koreas after the election of President Moon, a progressive.

 On the other hand, the incoming Secretary of Defense, Matttis, in a hearing in the Senate, on January 12 2017, said he was going to adopt a cautious approach toward North Korea, in terms of resolving the impasse with North Korea, and was going to look at their negotiating stances and work together with the State Department, carefully mingling with a call for diplomacy (Kirk, 2017).  In his address of 8 September 2016, celebrating 25 years of creating the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs, former Senator Lugar expressed his concern about nuclear weapon program of North Korea, and said he is willing to go anywhere to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) (Lugar, 2016). Even now, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, is rating , high the strategic importance of the Korean peninsula, saying that the US military would remain on the peninsula after the unification(Haass, 2016). President Trump remarked at the press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe on 10 February 2017, that he considered defense against the North Korean missiles and nuclear threat to a high priority.[1] In a joint communique signed on 30 June 2017, after their first talks between two Presidents, Trump and Moon, United States of America and Republic of Korea, the two summits agreed to deal with the threat of North Koreas nuclear program as a highest priority policy matter (Yonhap News Agency, June 1, 2017).

II.                CTR Studies on the Korean Peninsula

 The CTR program was initiated as Nunn-Lugar in 1991 in the US Congress which  officially established the CTR program as the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act by Senators Nunn and Lugar. It was renamed in 1993 as Cooperative Threat Reduction and was evaluated as a success (Miller, 1995), reducing nuclear arsenals in Russia from 30,000 in 1991 to about 12,000 warheads today, with the US Congress funding 10,562.1 million dollars from 1991 to 2016 (Walker, 2016). According to Ashton Carter, this was a major historic achievement for mankind and through Nunn-Lugar nuclear disaster was averted (Carter, 2005). Around 1996, the activities of the CTR program in Russia were almost finished with success, but then there arose the problem of expanding the program to non-Russian areas like Albania and Libya. The Nunn-Lugar Expansion Act in 2003 opened this program to states other than former the Soviet Union. But before the US Congress authorized funding that program in non-Russian areas, the problem of applying the program to the Korean peninsula was raised in the conferences of scholars, like that in the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in December 2005.  

In March 2001, DFI International, which had supported the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), an agency of the US Department of Defense since 1999, opined that CTR could offer the means of facilitating a US-North Korean agreement to eliminate Pyongyangs ballistic missile program and also provide security for ultimately terminating North Koreas WMD assets during a normalization of relations between the North and South (DFI International, 2001). Joel Wit and his colleagues considered the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), which was established by the US-North Korean Agreement in 1994, as a new model of CTR (Wit, Wolfsthal, and Oh, 2005). Stephen Bosworth, as the first employee of KEDO, who was asked by the State Departments Tom Hubbard about his willingness to direct the institution, said in his interview in July 2012, that the Republican Administration at that time was not supportive of KEDO (Bosworth, 2012). Note that, although there is an Office of CTR in the State Department, there is no mission for reducing threats in the Defense Department. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which does have a function of reducing threats, was created in 1998. To apply the CTR approach to North Korea, it is essential to expand areas of possible application. However, CTR funding cannot be used in countries under US sanctions.

1.      A New Approach to North Koreas Nuclear Problems

 Around 2005, there was new speculation about a way to tackle North Koreas nuclear problems. As mentioned above, starting with Joel Wit, there appeared some articles about  those issues, like that of Joseph R. Cerami (Cerami, 2005). In Joel Wilt and his colleagues work (2005) published by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), The Six Party Talks and Beyond: Cooperative Threat Reduction and North Korea, they explained the CTR with no reference to the background, not mentioning the Nunn-Lugar Act. They analyzed the positions of supporters and skeptics about applying CTR to North Korea, but in general they were more prone to assess its application pessimistically, resembling the US Congresss skeptical attitude on funding on North Korea. In their doubtful assessment of the CTR program on North Korea, they would be more hopeful about the Six Party Talks and its positive effect on the CTR program on North Korea.

For dealing with North Koreas nuclear issues, Joel Wilt continuously included Japan and the EU in the process of negotiation, especially in sharing the burden of funds. He intentionally used the participating countries as being more like partners working with a host state in the negotiations and did not take into account the position or role of the Republic of Korea government. It is notable that in a report to the National Academy of Sciences, Harrington and DeThomas emphasized that as the number of participants increases, the task of this grows (Harrington and Dethomas, 2010), and also that the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) could have begun operations six months earlier if it had not been for a late EU decision to insist on agreement texts in all EU languages, rather than in Russian and English as originally agreed(Harrington and Dethomas, 2010: 11). This problem of complexity was also pointed out as something to be overcome that conflicting objectives and priorities within participating states in any attempt to eliminate WMDs would be manifested. On top of that, the lack of institutions and established planning in the negotiation field has always necessitated extensive coordination between partners (Bleek, Kane, and Pollack, 2016: 15-23). In line with these points of view that could lead to effective negotiation, a few things need to be considered important in understanding and learning the lessons of CTR in Russia that could be applied to the North Korean case. Firstly, clarifying the concept of threats matters. In applying the CTR program, it is crucial to grasp the meaning of threat. In the Russian case, the threat was clear, because nuclear weapons were limited to those formerly possessed by the Soviet Union. It may be useful to differentiate the terms danger from threat. Simply possessing some arms does not constitute a threat, but can be a danger to somebody. If someone or one group uses his arms to threaten anothers life or security, it can become a threat. Secondly, indentifying the means of strike capability is also essential. In terms of being elements of threat, nuclear weapons, in particular, can be divided into warheads and missiles. In the case of North Korea, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) would be needed to attack the US nuclear warheads, and missiles would be essential in forming real threats to the US. It can be said around 2016 that there gloomed the possibility of North Korea striking at the US after its fifth nuclear test, in September 2016. Lastly, choosing the participants and their roles in the negotiations is to be taken into account. The US CTR engagement in former Soviet areas was in most cases based on bilateral relations, like the US-Uzbek ones. Yet, in CTR 2.0, multiple countries are involved, because of the funds needed to implement the CTR programs. According to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, CTR 2.0 was presented as a new model for CTR for the North Korean case, with the central role of the US Department of Defense working together with four countries, including Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan, as its partners (National Academy of Science, 2009: 104). But Stephan Bosworth, on 19 July 2012, argued that in the KEDO there arouse the problems of cultural gaps among the partners, and he indicated that in particular Japan, raising the issue of Japanese people abducted by North Korea, was not positive in engaging with North Korea (Bosworth, 2012). Likewise, Jungmin Kang pointed out various conflicts that might emerge between the North and South as well as between the individual countries involved (2009: 48-55).

2.      North Koreas Position about their Nuclear Programs

 Since last year, North Korea has been negatively responding to the Six-Party Talks and insisting on having nuclear talks with the US Choe Sun-hui, Deputy Director General of American Affairs, Foreign Minister of North Korea, declared that Pyongyang had seen the  Six-Party Talks framework as dead. Accordingly, in a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokespersons statement on April 30 2016, the September 19 Joint Statement from the talks in 2005 had finally perished (Kim, 2016). Some skeptics, like Joel Wit, cast doubt on the possibility of North Koreas giving up their nuclear program. In spite of such pessimistic points of view, considering that North Koreas long-standing claim on the necessity for their nuclear program is based on their concern that their security has been threatened by the US forces annual military drills in and around the Korean peninsula, the possibility of their call for a quid pro quo, compensation for renouncing the nuclear weapons could be presumed to exist as a bargaining chip.

 The North Korean regime has been demanding that the US conclude their peace agreement and establish normal diplomatic relations between the two countries. Stephen Bosworth and William Perry are sharing the opinion that it was the Bush Administration that cut off, in March 2000, the dialogue with North Korea. Perry, former US Secretary of Defense, attributing the failure of the Six Party Talks to the US misconception of North Koreas objective or their way of thinking, suggested that more realistic policies are needed to deal with the communist countrys growing threat (Perry, 2017). Ashton Carter and William Perry in their book, Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America (2000) revealed that they were determined to implement the Senators vision, which was at that time a case of Arms Control. But in his recent interview with Joel Wit, in January 2017, Perry criticized the US deterrence strategy against North Koreas threat to test ICBMs and put emphasis on the uselessness of deterrence without knowing the countrys real objectives such as survival, recognition, and improvement of Economy. Perry, enumerating alternative plans against North Korea like surgical striking, intercepting, or disrupting, said that he would not recommend what he had come up with before in the article with Carter If Necessary, Strike and Destroy (Washington Post, June 22, 2016) because of its devastating effect on South Korea. Strategically, he advised a negotiation as an essential starting step, opposing the Six-Party Talks calling on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. This means that a much more realistic approach to the nuclear weapons puzzle in North Korea should focus on the feasibility of the reduction of threats. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of American Extended Deterrence not as a defensive meaning or as a sign of strength, but to give a clear message of responding to a North Korean challenge by demonstrating the possible use of the US strategic assets. Citing the case of 2000, when North Korea showed interest in negotiations with the United States proposed nonproliferation and suspended the nuclear test, Perry, however, said that the simple suspension of the US-South Korean annual military exercises would not be acceptable enough as a starting point for new negotiations with North Korea.

3.      CTR Program in North Korea

 The CTR model is based on two elements: a strategy and a process. The success of the CTR strategy depends on compatible national interests, voluntary compliance, and transparency (DFI International: 8). The Nunn-Lugar CTR program originally provided funding and expertise for countries of concern, like the former Soviet Union, to decommission nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons stockpiles as agreed on by the Soviet Union and Russia. After nuclear warheads were removed by the military from their delivery vehicles, Nunn-Lugar assistance provided equipment and supplies to destroy the missiles on which the warheads had been mounted, as well as the soils which had contained the missiles. Warheads were then eliminated, with the highly enriched uranium contained in them made into commercial reactor fuel that was purchased by the US under a separate program (Kassenova, 2016: 72-96). As shown in the DFI International report, the process of CTR consists of the following six steps including umbrella agreements, which are agreements between the government of the United States of America and the government of the Russian Federation regarding cooperation in the area of nuclear material physical protection, control, and accounting, implementing agreements, requiring information, contracting process, execution/delivery, and audits & examination (DFI International, 2001: 9).

 In sum, CTR has four key goals: to dismantle WMDs, to consolidate, and secure WMDs, related technology, and materials, to increase transparency and encourage higher standards of conduct, and to support defense and military cooperation in order to prevent proliferations of nuclear weapons. Since 2009, to uphold these principles, Nuclear Security Centers have been established in partner countries in order to increase training capability, consistent with international best practices, for nuclear security, material control, inventory management, transport security, and other activities important for improving nuclear security through coordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The CTR program was managed by the US Department of Defense, but also by the Department of Energy, and the Department of State, and had to provide the equipment for dismantlement and then to secure vulnerable materials, to strengthen physical security, to upgrade detection capabilities to prevent nuclear smuggling and to redirect thousands of former weapon scientists into civilian projects. Seen from such common ground on addressing nuclear-armed nations, the bottom line is that the organizational culture of various CTR participants could have a direct impact on the success, or lack thereof, of cooperative projects. In addition, in an environment of transition from an adversarial relationship to partnership, cooperation in the nuclear field remains extremely sensitive for both sides (Kassenova, 2016).

 To start a CTR program in North Korea requires an agreement between first of all, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States of America (USA), similar to the Umbrella Agreement signed in June 17, 1992, between the USA and the Russian Federation, through which the American government, under the CTR program provided funding and expertise to the partner country. In line with that, however, at the time of application of the relevant program to DPRK, in organizing a committee or meeting for the discussion of agreement, in particular, it would be advisable to restrict the number of participants, for example, to two or three other than the US and North Korea, adding South Korea as an observer. The objective of the possible meeting is to convince North Korea of  the USs resolution to solve the nuclear problem by CTR. In the process of hammering the resolution home into Pyongyang, it is crucial for Washingtons position to forge a trustworthy relationship with the communist country. The transparency problem is also essential for making progress or for success of the CTR program, and for tracking down information about the numbers and locations of WMDs, which would ultimately contribute to a productive relationship between both participants. The principal meeting between the US and North Korea should be run parallel with the North-South dialogue, in which economic incentive elements need to be included to help redirect North Korean scientists to civilian jobs. Therefore, in the long run, South Korea should be positively engaged in the economic modernization of the people in the North in order to do away with the countrys nuclear weapons. The importance of the Souths positive engagement can be recognized from the Pakistan case, where, after Secretary of State, Powells visit to Pakistan in 2004, the US provided $100 million to the country as part of the CTR program, but has not made much progress because of the opposition of the people (Pederson, 2015: 1-17).

4.      Funding

 The Nunn-Lugar amendment of 1991 authorized the use in the 1992 fiscal year of $400 million in US Department of Defense (DOD) funds to help the Soviet Union and its satellite countries destroy, transport, safeguard and not proliferate WMDs. The total budget for 2016 estimates the amount for the CTR program to be $358 million (Pellerin, 2016). In Albania, the US provided in 2004 about $20 million for two years to destroy its entire stockpile, 16tons of chemical weapons, which were believed to be of Chinese origin (Nguyen, 2004). The US assistance is made possible by the Nunn-Lugar Expansion Act, signed by President George W. Bush in December 2003, which authorized use of up to $50 million in CTR funds for nonproliferation activities outside the former Soviet Union, and the legislation introduced by Lugar that would further extend the use of such funds, would eliminate the $50million cap on the programs, and would transfer the authority for approving funds from the President to the Secretary of Defense. Regardless of the available American funds for CTR programs, for the Republic of Korea (ROK) as an opposing party of possible conflict with North Korea, it would be legitimate to contribute partly to the total funds needed for those programs.

 Since August 1990, the ROK government has begun to raise funds to help cooperation between the North and South by adopting the Fund Law in 1990. The total amount of the cooperation fund whose sources are mostly from the government as of 2016, is 12,856,106 million Won (estimated USD $107,13 million), as shown in the statistics below. A third of the total is from government raised funds, and according to Budget Officer of the Ministry of Unification in South Korea, around 958 million Won (estimated USD $800 million), which has been generated from the operating profit alone, could meet the expenses of the CTR.[2]The Inter-Korean Fund statistics shows that an average of 494,500 million Won (estimated USD $412 million) per year could be raised. An average government raised fund per year is 188,220 million Won, (about USD$157 million). For the government to take advantage of the accumulated cooperation fund, at least $300 million could be used as a fund for CTR, aside from $100 million for humanitarian assistance and economic aids.

Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund


Government fund

Non-government fund

Deposit received


Operating profit

Total accumulated


Total accumulated

(US dollar)*