Sept. 15, 2017
Suzanne DiMaggio was interviewed by Public Radio International's “The World” about how the Trump Administration should approach North Korea:
Suzanne DiMaggio is one of the few Americans who has participated in direct negotiations with North Korean officials. DiMaggio is with the New America Foundation and she directs what’s known as a “track two” channel for US-North Korean dialogue.
“Policymakers in Washington have been forced to reassess their thinking on North Korea,” DiMaggio says. “It’s become clear that the North Korean leadership has concluded that the US will not attack a country that possesses nuclear weapons plus the means to deliver them.”
Experts are coming around to the thinking, DiMaggio says, “that Kim Jong-un is not going to give up his nuclear weapons any time soon. Once everyone has absorbed that dose of reality, then you can have a more realistic discussion about what our options are.”
DiMaggio says discussions are moving toward something that was mostly unthinkable until fairly recently, and that is the idea of learning to live with a nuclear North Korea.
“While the goal of denuclearization shouldn’t be abandoned, there’s a need to be realistic and set it aside, at least in the near term,” she says. DiMaggio says the primary objectives for the US right now should be to reduce tensions with the North Koreans and to deter them from using or proliferating their nuclear know-how.
“That to me makes greater sense,” DiMaggio says. “We have to recognize that the North Korean leadership has demonstrated an unflinching determination to advance its nuclear program.”