North Korean Nuclear Threat
North Korean Nuclear Threat
Use the role description to shape your perspective for research and the role-play. List the concepts, ideas, and policy options that come to mind. Draft a short response for each issue for consideration. Investigate the research leads by looking at the Additional Reading throughout the case and the Reading List in section 3.3.
Consider using the drop-down notepad on the right to take notes, since you will be able to print and consult these notes during the discussion. Research your departmental role within the executive branch and advocate strongly for your interests.
Description of Role:
The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. He or she presides over National Security Council (NSC) meetings and listens to the advice and information presented by others. The president is not expected to be an expert on any single subject, but instead draws on the expertise of the NSC to analyze options and choose what he or she feels is the best policy to advance U.S. interests.
The president’s goals are to
select one or more policy options after considering the opinions and recommendations of NSC members; and
balance and promote U.S. interests, with an eye toward both immediate goals and long-term foreign policy strategy.
Issues for Consideration:
How does North Korea, and particularly the situation presented in this case, threaten U.S. national security?
What U.S. interests are at stake in this crisis? How should they be prioritized? How should they influence a U.S. response?
What is the nature of the U.S.-North Korea relationship? How, if at all, does the United States typically interact with North Korea, and how does this inform U.S. action in this case?
What is the U.S. relationship with other parties relevant to this case, especially China, Japan, and South Korea? How does this affect the proposed U.S. policy options?
Where does a North Korean nuclear weapon capable of reaching North America fit into the broader context of national security concerns facing the United States? How should this analysis shape your consideration of policy options in this case?
What are the costs, benefits, and risks that accompany each policy option open to the United States?
What are the trade-offs raised by the potential policy options in this case?
What are the immediate security risks of the policy options being considered in this case? For example, what are the risks to U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in South Korea and elsewhere in the event of a North Korean retaliation?
What are the positions and interests of other countries and organizations that have a stake in North Korea’s nuclear proliferation? How, if at all, might they help resolve, exacerbate, or otherwise shape the current situation?