Track II Diplomacy Maintains Dialogue With North Korea

The Democratic Republic of North Korea remains one of the most intractable and potentially dangerous foreign policy challenges on the global security agenda. Its continued defiance of international efforts to halt the development of its nuclear weapons potential (it withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT in 2003 and has since declared that it carried out two nuclear tests) and recent belligerent military actions have raised both the tensions and stakes in an already volatile region.

Carnegie Corporation currently supports several Track II efforts focused on North Korea: Institute for Foreign Policy AnalysisInstitute on Global Conflict and CooperationNational Committee on American Foreign PolicyNational Committee on North KoreaSocial Science Research Council, Stanford and Harvard Universities, Georgia Tech University and the Pacific Council CSIS.  Each of these projects complements the official Six Party Talks (North and South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States) and provides a venue for multilateral and bilateral communications when, as is often the case, official negotiations have been suspended. The projects vary in their focus, international representation and target audiences but all seek a peaceful resolution of the problems confronting the Korean peninsula.

Typically, Track II diplomacy involves “workshops” sponsored by non-govern­mental organizations, attended by invited, interested individuals with influence in the adversarial governments. Attendees may include former top officials act­ing in an unofficial capacity, such as former President Jimmy Carter or for­mer Secretary of Defense William Perry, who have participated in talks with counter­parts from North Korea. They may also include current officials acting in “an unofficial” capacity. Perry offers a simple, broad definition: “The dialog between non-officials of nations designed to make up the perceived shortcomings in the official dialogue.”
Learn more about Carnegie Corporation’s work on North Korea and in Track II diplomacy. 

Letter from North Korea.  Carnegie Corporation Program Director Stephen J. Del Rosso offers a rare glimpse of the secretive nation from a three-day, Carnegie Corporation-supported “Track II” visit taken in 2008 to the country with a small group of Asian specialists and former diplomats.

Notes from a Track II meeting held in 2005 at the foundation’s headquarters.

Getting Serious About North Korea's Nukes” in The National Review. Grantee Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center suggests there are four things the U.S. can do to address the threat in Pyongyang.

North Korea suggests discarding one of its nuclear arms programs in deal” in The Washington Post.  Grantees Siegfried Hecker, leader of a recent American delegation and Leon Sigal, of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs.

Review U.S. policy toward North Korea” in The Washington Post.  Grantees Robert Carlin, a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, and John W. Lewis, professor emeritus of Chinese politics at Stanford, on steps toward a more realistic engagement of North Korea.