Normalization by Other Means—Technological Infrastructure and Political Commitment in the North Korean Nuclear Crisis

Author
Christopher Lawrence
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
International Security
Volume
45
Issue Number
1
Publication Date
Summer 2020
Institution
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Abstract
The 1994 Agreed Framework called for North Korea to dismantle its plutonium-production complex in exchange for civilian light water reactors (LWRs) and the promise of political normalization with the United States. Today, scholars look back at the Agreed Framework as a U.S. offer of “carrots” to bribe the regime, but this framing overlooks the credibility challenges of normalization and the distinctive technical challenges of building LWRs in North Korea. Political and technical analysis reveals how the LWR project helped build credibility for the political changes promised in the Agreed Framework.
Topic
Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Science and Technology, History, Infrastructure, Crisis Management, Normalization
Political Geography
Asia, North Korea, North America, Korea, United States of America