Anti-North Korea demonstration in South Korea after hydrogen bomb test Seung-Il Ryu/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press

Nuclear Diplomacy’s Next Stop

Since last summer's agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, a promising new pattern of cooperation with the country has emerged. Now China and the US must apply the same commitment and cooperation to achieving a diplomatic breakthrough with another potentially volatile nuclear wannabe: North Korea.

DENVER – The diplomatic harvest from last summer’s agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has begun. When United States Navy boats drifted into Iranian waters this month – a development that, even just a year ago, probably would have triggered a crisis – they were detained only briefly. In the same week, Iran also released five American prisoners; exported enriched uranium, in accordance with the nuclear deal; and reentered world petroleum markets.

Relations with Iran still have a long way to go – not just in monitoring its compliance with the deal, but also in encouraging its leaders to change their regional approach, including by improving relations with Sunni Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, Iran has certainly made a promising new show of cooperation that, despite the risks, is worth pursuing.

But Iran is not the only potentially volatile country with nuclear ambitions. Another nuclear wannabe – North Korea – has shown little interest in negotiating a deal. On the contrary, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seems to be exhorting his scientists and engineers to accelerate development of nuclear weapons. The prospect of intimidating the world is simply too appealing to give up, it seems, even if it means remaining locked in not-so-splendid isolation.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/wNXgoP9;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now