News Release

North Korea’s Logic


Daley is a writing fellow with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and author of the book Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, forthcoming from Rutgers University Press. He recently wrote the piece “Maybe We Should Take the North Koreans at Their Word.”

Daley said today: “Both Democrats and Republicans say that ‘all options are on the table’ when it comes to Iran. No one says that about North Korea. A huge part of the reason why is the mere possibility that North Korea may already possess even just a few deliverable nuclear weapons, capable of inflicting catastrophic retaliatory damage on any attacker. In other words, they are constructing a ‘nuclear deterrent.’ To deter us.

“None of us in the nuclear disarmament community advocate that North Korea possess nuclear weapons. But we will never persuade North Korea to abjure nuclear weapons unless we recognize that they, like any state, possess legitimate national security interests of their own.

“The U.S. government and the international community, rather than simply threatening Pyongyang, should try to find a way to provide North Korea with real security assurances that can persuade them that they don’t need a nuclear deterrent, because they have nothing to fear from us. And we should say to them that just as we expect them to dismantle their nuclear weapons, to rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and to comply with its obligations to remain non-nuclear, we too intend to comply with our own NPT obligation, undertaken 40 long years ago, to entirely eliminate our own nuclear arsenals. Obama, to his credit, most notably in his speech before a huge outdoor audience in Prague on April 5, has just begun to acknowledge the inexorable connection between non-proliferation and disarmament. The North Koreans remain to be convinced.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167