Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, June 29, 2005

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For IMMEDIATE Release

North Korean Nuclear Negotiations
Leach Schedules Thursday Hearing to Examine Strategies
for Successful End to North Korea’s Nuclear Program 

BACKGROUND: After a hiatus of more than a year, the North Korean government will return to the negotiating table later this month to discuss its ongoing nuclear weapons development program.  The decision comes after U.S. officials reiterated its previous statements that the United States regards North Korea as a sovereign state, and that it has no intention of attacking North Korea. The announcement of a resumption of the so-called Six Party Talks also comes amidst a flurry of diplomatic activity, including Secretary Rice’s trip to Asia last week, during which she discussed the issue in Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo. U.S. officials have publicly admonished China to use more of its economic leverage to coax North Korea toward progress. Other observers – particularly in China and South Korea – have expressed a desire for more U.S. flexibility, in terms of incentives and negotiation formats the U.S. would consider offering North Korea. The intelligence community is reportedly divided over whether North Korea has assembled its fissile material into nuclear bombs, and it is unknown whether North Korea has miniaturized any weapons that could successfully carried by a North Korean ballistic missile. The hearing will help to address a number of questions: Does the United States have a viable and coherent strategy for ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs? To what extent do the priorities of China and South Korea differ from those of the United States?  As a technical matter, how would any nuclear agreement be verified?  What lessons does North Korea’s past behavior hold for future verification efforts? Would high-level, bilateral dialogue between the United States and North Korea complement or undercut the Six Party process? Under what conditions might the other countries in the region be willing to consider more coercive alternatives?  

WHAT:                                 Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: 
                                              North Korean Nuclear Negotiations: Strategies
 and Prospects for Success
                                             
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
                                              U.S. Rep. James A. Leach (R-IA), Chairman

WHEN:                                10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 14, 2005

WHERE:                              Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                      Donald P. Gregg,
                                              President and Chairman, The Korea Society;
                                              Scott Snyder
,
                                              Senior Associate, The Asia Foundation and Pacific Forum CSIS;
                                              Col. William M. Drennan, USAF ret.,
                                             
Consultant and Author;
                                              David Albright
,
                                              President, Institute for Science and International Security.

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