Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, February 3, 2005
For IMMEDIATE Release
North Korea Proliferation Challenge
Leach Hearing on Possible Solutions to Resolve Nuclear Threat
BACKGROUND: On February 10, 2005, the North Korean Foreign
Ministry issued a statement in which Pyongyang announced that it would counter
Washington’s “hostile policy” by “increasing” its “nuclear weapons arsenal” and
“suspending” its participation in six-party talks on the Democratic People’s
Party of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear weapons program. Claiming that United States
policy remained “hostile,” the statement pointed to Secretary of State Rice’s
confirmation hearings reference to North Korea as an “outpost of tyranny” and
linked her comment to President Bush’s inaugural address call for “ending
tyranny.” The statement said North Korea “cannot find one single word on
coexistence with us” in recent Administration comments. The statement, which
included its most unambiguous public claim to possess nuclear weapons, concluded
that there is no change in North Korea's position of resolving the nuclear issue
through negotiations and that North Korea's ultimate goal is a nuclear-free
WHAT: Joint Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Is There a Way Forward?
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, U.S. Rep. James A. Leach (R-IA), Chairman
Subcommittee on Int’l Terrorism and Nonproliferation, U.S. Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-CA), Chairman
WHEN: 10:00 a.m., Thursday, February 17, 2005
WHERE: Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building
WITNESSES: Mr. Ralph Cossa, President, Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies; Nicholas Eberstadt, Ph.D., Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute; Jon Wolfsthal, Deputy Director for Non-Proliferation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Robert Sutter, Ph.D., Professor of Asian Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
In light of these negative developments, the joint Subcommittee hearing on North Korea will explore such issues as:
· Whether diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis is still possible?
· Does the Administration have a viable and consistent strategy for dealing with North Korea?
Whether, as a complement to the six-party process, should the U.S. engage in serious and sustained bilateral dialogue with Pyongyang? Should the U.S. prioritize the nuclear threat and focus on reversing the plutonium program?
Should the U.S. seek to increase China’s (and South Korea’s) “ownership” of the North Korean problem and, if so, how? Would a more active Chinese role marginalize the U.S?
Under what conditions will countries in the region consider more coercive alternatives, and are these alternatives likely to be effective?
Whose side is time on – North Korea or the United States?
If a diplomatic solution is not achievable, is the permanent possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea an acceptable outcome for the United States or other six-party participants?
Should the U.S. establish the transfer of WMD (and related technology) as a clear “redline” justifying resort to sanctions or the use of force?
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