The Biden Administration’s North Korea Policy Review: Old Wine in New Wineskins?
CSDS POLICY BRIEF • 11/2021
By Mason Richey
The Biden administration has finished its North Korea policy review. Given the failure of prior approaches to North Korean denuclearisation, the review calls for a “calibrated, practical” approach avoiding both “grand bargains” and “strategic patience.” Yet with details of the policy review scant, and the Biden-Moon summit casting little extra light, there are questions about how the policy review translates into strategy. Biden administration statements indicate that the US will continue to make the same basic negotiation offer as prior administrations. This bodes poorly for enticing North Korea to negotiate, especially as the country is focused on domestic problems. Europe will likely take little action, although there are steps it could take to attempt to catalyse North Korea-related diplomacy.