United States Foreign Policy Towards North Korea and Iran's Nuclear Program

The fact that North Korea and Iran have the potential to manufacture nuclear weapon is not just a threat to the global security, but it also undermines the capability of the United States as a superpower (Hoge 65). When a country can manufacture nuclear weapons, they can be used to strengthen their military, which would make it easy to win at war just as the United States did when they bombed the Hiroshima and Nagasaki and defeated Japan. In the recent past, North Korea has been able to successfully conduct several nuclear tests which have shaken the United States. What is more, they have been issuing to use the nuclear missiles on South Korea, Japan, and even the United States and this has widened the global nuclear threat between the two nations. Nevertheless, this is not the first time that North Korea has threatened to start a nuclear war. The enmity between North Korea and the United States goes way back during the cold war error when the Soviet Union decided to help South Korea in defeating North Korea (Hayes, and Young). Since then, the United States and North Korea have not been reading from the same page. Several strategies have been used to denuclearize North Korea, including international pressure as well as United Nations sanctions but they have not worked since North Korea is now a self-declared nuclear state. As such, the United States seeks new foreign policies to handle Iran and North Korea nuclear programs.

North Korea has been adamant about strengthening their nuclear weapons development, and they show no signs to conform to denuclearization any soon. In fact, the current leadership in North Korea believes that the main reason why the United States is concerned with their nuclear program is to overthrow the Kim Jong-un regime (Chanlett-Avery, Emma, and Ian 341). What is more, North Korea’s nuclear capability has become an essential instrument in the country’s survival, military prestige as well as a sign that they have power over South Korea and as such, they are not ready to let go of their nuclear program. One of the most widely used policies by the United States government is in negotiations.

America has engaged in endless talks with North Koreas since the early 1990’s, and nothing has materialized regarding actual denuclearization. Consequently, it seems that every U.S administration has adopted a new policy because North Korea has become a hard nut to crack concerning surrendering their nuclear program. The Obama regime, for instance, used diplomacy to talk North Korea into denuclearization but after failure, the strategy was changed to ‘strategic patience and applying pressure after the 2009 missile test (Indyk, Kenneth, and Michael 41). The Obama leadership also tried to mobilize the like-minded states to enforce UN-based sanctions on North Korea, and this did not make North Korea abandon their nuclear program. Currently, United States is open to dialogue with North Korea and they are not to present any conditions or constraints. America demands that North Korea should hold authentic and credible talks with them and should be able to adhere to the September 19th, 2005 agreement, which will see to it that North Korea demonstrates real and practical actions before the Six-Party Talks (Kwak 10).

The U.S has also made it clear that North Korea will not be recognized as a nuclear state and as such, it has increased pressure on North Korea so that they can surrender by pushing other countries to cut diplomatic ties with them. A restriction on North Korea’s diplomatic relations will likely destabilize the country by reducing the flow of resources to the regime, and they will be left with no option than to discontinue their nuclear program. Since Donald Trump came to power, about 20 countries have collaborated with the United States and restricted their diplomatic activities with North Korea. Other countries, such as Spain, Kuwait, Mexico, and Italy, among others have gone further and expelled North Korean ambassadors from their lands since the latest missile test (Delury 40). However, based on the previous agreements, which the U.S made to North Korea and failed to fulfil, North Korea is least likely to engage in further negotiations.

Another foreign policy that the United States is using towards North Korea’s nuclear program is the threat of military action. The current president of the United States of America recently issued a warning to deal with North Korea if they do not stop issuing them with nuclear attack threats. Trump and Kim Jong-un have been lately exchanging taunts that have raised fears of a nuclear war. Even though president Trump prefers diplomatic solutions to conflict whenever there is a crisis, he recently threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ if the sanctions do not work. He termed this strategy as ‘phase two’ which he acknowledged that it might be unfortunate for the world even though he was hoping that the sanctions would work (Delury 46). As of now military officers have been deployed and working together with the South-Korea government and others are also guarding the Korean Peninsula to ensure that North Korea does not initiate nuclear war and even to respond just in case they do.

As for the sanctions, Trump has imposed strict measures, which are mainly meant to interfere with the trading and the shipping companies owned by the North Korean government, and eventually, isolating Pyongyang (Delury 46). These tough sanctions are most likely going to affect the trade between South Korea and North Korea as well as the trade with China, which is a key stakeholder as well as the only ally. China is the primary trading partner of North Korea and supporting the U.S bid to denuclearize their neighbour and friend would affect their economy in one way or another. Even though China endorses the U.S strategy to denuclearize North-Korea, they have been accused of ignoring and not enforcing the U.N sanctions and other harsh measures since they also stand to lose and. As such, U.S cannot rely on China’s role in ending the North Korea nuclear program.

Iran, on the other hand, has been known to facilitate terrorism in the Middle East and carrying out attacks all over the world. Iran has been suspected of not honouring the 2015 nuclear deal framework, which indicated that Iran was to reduce its nuclear facilities so that all the nuclear-related economic sanction imposed on the country would be lifted (Indyk, Kenneth, and Michael 30). What is more, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was meant to promote peace and security, which is contrary to what the Iran government is doing. The new U.S administration headed by Donald Trump has developed a new strategy for the Iranian nuclear programme. Donald Trump announced that the new approach would confront the Iranian regime of its extreme actions and prevents them from acquiring any nuclear weapons and that would happen after reviewing the U.S policy toward Iran (Kroenig 30).

The first part of the new U.S strategy towards Iran nuclear policy is to collaborate with their allies to disrupt the current Iranian regime from conducting further terrorist activities in the region. Secondly, the United States will increase sanctions on the Iran government to prevent them from financing terrorism not only in the Middle East but also around the globe (Gordon, and David). Thirdly, the United States is planning to address Iran’s proliferation of missiles and weapons that are considered a threat to the neighbours, international trade, and liberty of navigation. Finally, the new policy will involve denying the present leadership in Iran any access to a nuclear weapon (Kerr, 17).

Overall, the U.S government has developed and implemented more stringent foreign policies to deal with the nuclear programs in both Iran and North Korea. For North Korea, negotiations with U.s have not been fruitful even though Donald Trumps is open to dialogue, which is not to be accompanied by conditions. Most importantly, President Donald Trump has mobilized other countries to cut their diplomatic ties with North Korea and also imposed harsh sanctions so that they can give up on the nuclear program. The U.s current regime has also developed a new policy to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, by imposing severe sanctions on Iran.

Works Cited

Chanlett-Avery, Emma, and Ian E. Rinehart. "North Korea: US relations, nuclear diplomacy, and internal situation." Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia 22.3 (2013): 341.

Delury, John. "Trump and North Korea: Reviving the Art of the Deal." Foreign Aff. 96 (2017): 46.

Gordon, Michael R., and David E. Sanger. "Deal reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on fuel would lessen with time." The New York Times 14 (2015).

Hayes, Peter, and Young Whan Kihl. “Peace and Security in Northeast Asia: Nuclear Issue and the Korean Peninsula: Nuclear Issue and the Korean Peninsula.” Routledge, 2016.

Hoge Jr, James F. "A global power shift in the making." Paradoxes of Power. Routledge, 2015. 62-68.

Indyk, Martin S., Kenneth G. Lieberthal, and Michael E. O'Hanlon. "Scoring Obama's foreign policy: A progressive pragmatist tries to bend history." Foreign Affairs (2012): 29-43.

Indyk, Martin S., Kenneth G. Lieberthal, and Michael E. O'Hanlon. "Scoring Obama's foreign policy: A progressive pragmatist tries to bend history." Foreign Affairs (2012): 29-43.

Kerr, Paul K. "Iran's nuclear program: Tehran's compliance with international obligations." Current Politics and Economics of the Middle East 5.1 (2014): 17.

Kroenig, Matthew. "The Case for Trump's Foreign Policy: The Right People, the Right Positions." Foreign Aff. 96 (2017): 30.

Kwak, Tae-Hwan. “North Korea's second nuclear crisis and northeast Asian security.”  Routledge, 2016.

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