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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Authors

Eunice Lee

Abstract

Since the division of the Korean peninsula into two countries, North and South Korea, the peninsula has been in the public eye primarily because of North Korea's nuclear program. Scholars have addressed ways to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, but to this day, North Korea remains a nuclear state. As North Korea continues to be isolated from the outside world, mystery surrounds the manner in which its government behaves. Should the U.S. respond to North Korea's perceived nuclear threat with force, or should diplomacy be used to achieve peace? Given the complexity of the nuclear dilemma, there is no simple solution to resolve the nuclear threat. To understand how to resolve the threat, it is crucial to account for the multi-layered factors leading to the present situation. Underneath North Korea's nuclear threat lies the issue of peace and security on the Korean peninsula. With peace and security at stake, it is interesting that reunification of the two Koreas has not played a prominent role in discussions of denuclearization. Thus, a dialogue on inter-Korean relations helps to shed light on the motivations behind nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula, and is important to the pursuit of a unified, denuclearized Korean peninsula. With the complex nature of North Korea's nuclear threat, international efforts to denuclearize the peninsula have fallen short of absolute denuclearization. This note strives to illustrate that denuclearization and reunification of the Korean peninsula are not mutually exclusive issues, and a potential way to bring peace and security to the peninsula is to address both denuclearization and reunification in an interconnected manner by means of a treaty among the key players to the conflict - the U.S., North Korea, and South Korea.

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