How to Defuse the North Korean Crisis

Kevin Rudd on CNBC's Squawk Box

On August 11, 2017, Kevin Rudd spoke to CNBC's "Squawk Box" about how to diplomatically defuse the North Korean nuclear crisis. Rudd said that thus far China remained "unwilling" to use its power to stop the North Korean nuclear program.

This is the case, Rudd stated, because China does not believe that the United States would actually consider unilateral military action against North Korea. Moreover, according to Rudd, the greater question in China's mind is what happens after North Korea is denuclearized. China does not want to risk an unstable or a pro-United States North Korea on its border. For this reason, the United States may need to think about what a grand bargain on the peninsula could look like that would secure the North's denuclearization in return for a package that satisfies Beijing and Pyongyang. 

Rudd outlined four potential elements of such a grand bargain for China. The first component of such a deal would need to include a peace treaty between the United States and North Korea. Second, the United States would need to diplomatically recognize the North Korean regime. Third, North Korea may desire a security guarantee from the United States, China, and Russia so that it is willing to relinquish its nuclear weapons. And finally, Rudd suggested that in order to satisfy China, the United States may need to consider "a staged withdrawal of its own forces from South Korea in order to produce a genuinely neutral Korean Peninsula." (4 min., 49 sec.)

Watch the full interview here. 

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