Media Contacts: Jack Brosnan, Program Manager, Partnership for a Secure America, 202-293-8580;
On May 22, the United States Institute of Peace’s Senior Expert on North Korea, Frank Aum and the Senior Research Fellow on Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, Bruce Klingner discussed the available options for President Trump at a US-North Korea Summit
On Thursday, February 2nd Partnership for a Secure America held a roundtable dinner discussion for a select group of Congressional staff to discuss the results of PSA’s ongoing work with the Arms Control Association to build bipartisan engagement and restore Congressional leadership on nuclear security.
On October 16th, United States Institute of Peace Director for China Programs, Jennifer Staats and former Deputy Commander, US Forces Korea, Lt. General (Ret.) Jan-Marc Jouas discussed options to address the North Korean crisis and ideas for potential areas of cooperation or coordination between the U.S. and China.
Yanbian University, Yanji, China – Jamie Metzl, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), spoke at the Chinese Summit Forum on Korean Peninsula Studies. Metzl made a strong case for why it is in China’s national interest to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and, ultimately, to support the reunification of the Korean peninsula under South Korean law.
North Korea in 2017
The Kim regime has continued to oppress its own citizens in North Korea, with a UN Commission of Inquiry calling its program of suppression a “crime against humanity.”North Korea remains closed off from the world, new ideas, and new opportunities, and continues to threaten its neighbors; occasionally launching unprovoked attacks. Recently North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs grabbed global attention with the successful launch of an ICBM on July 4th. As North Korea’s nuclear weapons program continues its race toward full, deliverable weaponization, it continues to sow regional instability and threatens to ignite an arms race in Asia.
The Perspective of the Kim Regime
The Kim regime views nuclear weaponization as beneficial to their prestige, leverage, and the stability of its leadership. North Korea is racing to develop deliverable nuclear weapons capability in order to prevent the type of foreign intervention experienced by Libya and Ukraine. The hyper-paranoid leadership of North Korea feels safer with nuclear weapons than without them, and has a long history of non-compliance with arms reduction agreements. The only way North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons is if its leaders come to believe the cost of maintaining nuclear weapons is greater than the cost of giving them up.
China’s Relationship with North Korea
China and North Korea have a historic and strategic relationship; the Kim regime provides China with a buffer between itself and US-allied South Korea, as well as a source of cheap resources and labor. China helps to keep the North Korean economy afloat by providing energy, access to trade, and financial services – without Chinese intervention the North Korean state would never have existed, and would crumble quickly. Despite its reliance on Beijing’s support North Korea is becoming increasingly hostile to China, and North Korea’s actions justify our military presence in the region. Chinese leaders are faced with a binary choice; to continue their current path of expressing displeasure without applying sufficient pressure, or to do what it takes to force the North Korean leadership to either give up their nuclear weapons or face regime destabilization and collapse.
Jamie Metzl serves as vice-chair of Partnership for a Secure America’s Board of Directors. Mr. Metzl is also a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, and has served on the U.S. National Security Council, State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee and with the United Nations in Cambodia.
Washington, DC – Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is pleased to announce a new grant award from the MacArthur Foundation in support of an innovative bipartisan campaign to engage Congress on evolving nuclear security challenges around the world. This will be a joint program between PSA and the Arms Control Association (ACA). The award is part of a recent collaboration between the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) and the MacArthur Foundation to reduce nuclear risk through innovative and solutions-oriented approaches.
Partnership for a Secure America was selected along with 10 other grant recipients from a pool of 83 proposals.
This project seeks to improve Congressional interest and knowledge on the issue of nuclear materials security, in response to uncertain international cooperation following the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit last year. A key goal of the initiative is to catalyze enduring bipartisan commitment to this critical, yet increasingly-overlooked global threat.
“We are honored to receive this award from the MacArthur Foundation in support of PSA’s essential bipartisan work in Washington, DC,” said Nathan Sermonis, PSA Executive Director. “Capitol Hill has a crucial role to play in the nuclear security field, and we look forward to advancing bipartisan engagement among members of Congress and staff.”
In 2016, with the Nuclear Security Summit process coming to a close, Carnegie Corporation and MacArthur recognized that the progress started through the Summits remained fragile and much work was left to be done. The two foundations made a commitment – a “gift basket” pledge, in Summit parlance – to invest up to $25 million over two years “to secure nuclear materials and reduce the threat they pose.” This funding has gone toward nongovernmental efforts that provide new ideas; create opportunities for governments, industry, and civil society to collaborate; and hold stakeholders accountable.
More information about PSA’s work in bipartisanship, foreign policy, and national security can be found on our website.