Building Multi-Party Capacity for a WMD-Free Korean Peninsula
April 27, 2007
Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing
The goal of this workshop was to help develop a viable framework for regional collaboration aimed at eliminating nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from the Korean Peninsula, while at the same time contribute to the establishment of an effective peace and security mechanism in Northeast Asia. This workshop will build upon the progress made at previous meetings (Shanghai 2005 and Hawaii 2006). Key questions related to a proposed framework for regional collaboration are outlined in the breakout group questionnaires in the workshop briefing book. These questions will be discussed and debated during the breakout groups and the final session.
Plenary Session 1
Near-term Prospects for the Six-Party Talks and Regional Diplomacy
8:45–10:15 This plenary session will explore the current state of, and near-term prospects for, the six-party talks, together with the broader foreign policies of participating nations toward each other, including sovereignty concerns in Pyongyang, in light of North Korea’s October 2006 nuclear test and the tentative agreement on “Initial Actions” for implementing the September 2005 joint statement.
Key questions for this first session include:
- What allowed the apparent breakthrough between North Korea and the United States in Berlin in January (and subsequently at the six-party talks in Beijing), and how can this momentum be sustained?
- How do we evaluate the current approach of the various parties to balancing the timing and process of disclosure regarding the DPRK’s nuclear programs with provision of energy and economic assistance, corresponding diplomatic moves, and striving for peaceful U.S.-DPRK relations?
- What have been the reactions of the participating countries to the creation of multiple working groups and the possible involvement of outside organizations such as the IMF or World Bank? How do we evaluate the effectiveness of the working groups in the “initial actions” period? What adjustments, if any, are needed?
- What are likely to be the key stumbling blocks going forward, and how can the participating nations improve the chances for progress? Are there lessons that we can learn from the recent BDA experience?
- Is it possible to design and implement near-term steps so that they support directly longer-term, commonly agreed strategies and objectives? If so, how?
Plenary Session 2
A Post-Proliferation Regional Framework for Northeast Asia?
10:30–12:00 Looking beyond the near-term future of the six-party talks and assuming that the realization of a completely nuclear-free Korea and full diplomatic normalization among the estranged parties could take many years to accomplish, what are the challenges and opportunities for regional cooperation in the meantime? What will it take to build confidence, to prevent further escalation, proliferation, and possible miscalculation, to discourage a regional arms race, and to otherwise manage the potential negative implications of the nuclear reality in North Korea?
Key questions for this topic include:
- What confidence building measures (CBMs) might be feasible and effective during this “interim nuclear period”? Is there any role for discussions regarding nuclear safety and fail-safe mechanisms or procedures vis-à-vis nuclear weapons in the North?
- How can the nations in the region organize themselves to help resolve disputes that threaten to escalate and undermine a constructive atmosphere? How can reasonable defense measures be implemented without leading to charges of escalation or hostility?
- What is the future relationship between UN sanctions and six-party progress, and how do the nations in the region fit into this picture (in terms of their policies of enforcement, possible relaxation, or measured calibration)?
- Are there useful tools or lessons from other parts of the world or from history that can be applied constructively to the post-proliferation situation in Northeast Asia?
- What does all of the above suggest with regard to the possible emergence of a new regional architecture for security cooperation? Has a new framework already evolved, and, if so, are its nature and trajectory desirable ones?
12:15–13:45 Luncheon/Speaker: Minister CUI Tian-kai, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, PRC
Breakout Sessions: Small Group Discussions on Key Negotiating Areas (breakout rooms)
14:00–15:45 The morning sessions were designed to discuss near- to mid-term negotiation and foreign policy issues, not only as they relate to “deal making” for denuclearization and normalization, but also to management of this interim, “post-proliferation” period within the region. The following breakout groups will allow for more focused discussion on the possible connections between deal making, post-proliferation management, and the eventual establishment of a durable peace mechanism to replace the armistice arrangements on the peninsula. We expect that there will be a particular focus on what this suggests for regional capacity building priorities in order to reconcile these objectives. Breakout groups will be referred to by the names in bold, and discussions would focus on the topics/questions listed below and in the relevant “capacity building questionnaire” included in the briefing book:
- Pol-Mil Group: Threat reduction, security assurances, “peace regime” priorities, and diplomatic normalization (main meeting room, Zhonghua Hall I, 2nd Floor)
- Nuclear Issues Group: DPRK nuclear program declarations, transparency, denuclearization, inspections and verification (Zhejiang Hall, 2nd Floor)
- Economic Group: Energy assistance, economic engagement, investment issues, and longer-term cooperation (Sichuan Hall, 2nd Floor)
Next Steps for Capacity Building & Discussion Wrap-up
16:00–17:30 By this point the group has discussed where it thinks we are in the six-party process, where we might realistically hope to be in the next few years, and what some of the near-term priorities and strategies are for achieving these goals. The question remains: How do the negotiating parties and the relevant international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and private companies begin to build a more stable and coherent framework for regional security, Korean denuclearization, and greater economic engagement and prosperity? In this session, we seek to draw on the discussions carried out in the breakout groups that focused on particular issue areas and explore how these relate to a broader, coordinated capacity-building effort involving some form of a multilateral mechanism beyond the current six-party process.
We seek the group’s advice and insights with regard to key aspects of this topic including:
- Level of structure, obligations, and relations with member governments, NGOs, international organizations, or regional organizations
- Membership, chairmanship, leadership or stewardship
- Costs and cost sharing, location and provision of facilities (if any), staffing procedures
- Dispute resolution/prevention and crisis management procedures
- Next steps, including preparatory measures and actions to promote a desirable outcome