Time for the EU to Rethink ‘Critical Engagement’

By Ramon Pacheco Pardo

EU’s ‘critical engagement’ policy towards North Korea needs to make way for a credible engagement policy suited to strategic partners South Korea’s and the US’ current approach. To move towards its key aims, the EU should continue to implement engagement activities, such as North Korea – United States dialogue facilitation by Sweden.  It can restore suspended activities such as educational and cultural exchanges, and make bold moves such as supporting private sector engagement with Pyongyang. It can further raise its profile in Korean Peninsula and Asian security affairs by appointing an advisory committee and even a special envoy for Korean Peninsula security. The renewal of three of the EU’s key institutions and bodies, coupled with a trend towards greater Europeanisation of the bloc’s foreign policy, offers a unique opportunity to rethink Brussels’ policy towards North Korea.

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