The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Four-Plus-Two—An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Keynotes 04

Author/s (editor/s):

Peter Van Ness

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'The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Four-Plus-Two—An Idea Whose Time Has Come', Keynotes 04, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, November 2003.

The confrontation between North Korea and the Bush Administration over the DPRK’s nuclear programs threatens to plunge Northeast Asia, one of the most strategically volatile regions in the world, into chaos and to ignite a nuclear arms race. This Keynote argues that there is a way to achieve a peaceful resolution to this crisis that would be minimally acceptable to all parties, including both North Korea and the United States. It would be a four-plus-two security consortium, comprised of the four major powers in Northeast Asia (China, Japan, Russia and the US) plus the two Korean states, both North and South, that would guarantee the security of the region and assure that the Koreas remained non-nuclear. This is a ‘cooperative security’ design, the idea being to achieve security by working out mutually beneficial arrangements with or among likely adversaries, rather than to construct alliances against them.

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