North Korea Canada

Trading Nukes: Does Canada need a new North Korea policy?

An immersive cultural experience hosted by the Intelligence Futures Working Group – Thursday 20th of October 2016

North Korea matters. A war on the Korean Peninsula would have dramatic negative consequences for its neighbours. US diplomacy has failed and containing or ignoring Pyongyang is not a viable option.

In 1999 Canada embarked on efforts toward mutual diplomatic recognition of the DPRK in support of then-President Clinton’s Soft Landing Policy and Kim Dae Jong’s Sunshine Policy. The initiative showed promise with Germany and the UK opening embassies in Pyongyang. But the Bush administration repudiated these efforts. The 5-Party Talks in Beijing produced no advances and DPRK resumed development of its nuclear arsenal and means of delivery. Today Canada’s diplomatic relations are limited to “controlled engagement” … Canada has no active channels for interaction with Pyongyang. Three of Canada’s top five trading partners are in Northeast Asia and at some risk of North Korean provocations and worse. Legally, Canada remains in a state of war with the North Korea. Canada has skin in the game.

North Korea cannot feed itself on any plausible scenario. Massive deforestation and related counter-productive land use practices result in periodic floods and famine. The DPRK economy has in recent years seen modest growth, largely the result of internal reforms. The Chinese fear of and the US hope for an internal collapse is increasingly less likely. North Korean belligerence has intensified. Japan and the US are increasingly concerned by the rising nuclear threat the DPRK poses. North Korea must be engaged – but how?

Our understanding of the DPRK is very limited and that is part of the reason for the failure of diplomacy. Its self-imposed isolation is one reason; 65 years of propaganda are another. Is the US analytic template of a soon-to-fail-but-for-Chinese-support, Stalinist state correct? To proceed sensibly to engage North Korea one must first begin by understanding this unique and often bizarre society.

This special Intelligence Futures Working Group will be anchored by two Canadians uniquely qualified to address challenges of engaging Pyongyang.

Sven Jurschewsky is a 37 year veteran of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. In 1999 Sven spearheaded Canada’s efforts at normalizing relations with North Korea. Over a period of four years, Sven visited North Korea 19 times and enjoyed unprecedented access to the country and its leadership ranging from KPA General Staff officers and senior WKP leaders and functionaries to factory and cooperative farm managers and ordinary citizens. his efforts benefited from exceptional support from China and inter alia mutual recognition between the two countries. Besides his engagement in Korean affairs, Sven’s career entailed postings with to Vienna (for the IAEA and UN agencies); Berlin (as Head a.i. of the Military Mission); Bonn (for German-German and bilateral relations); Lagos (as Head of Chancery and political and economic affairs); Vienna again (for the OSCE); Beijing (for North Asian security affairs and DPRK affairs); Zagreb (for post-conflict matters); New Delhi (for GSRP reporting on security and commercial topics). He had very long stints of Temporary Duty in Paris as a member of the Canadian Paris Club Delegation in the first debt crisis and in New York as nuclear negotiator at the 1995 NPT Extension Conference and related fora.

Tariq Rauf is one of the world’s leading experts in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Tariq became the Director of SIPRI’s Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme in February 2014. Prior to joining SIPRI, Tariq was Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Disarmament Committee at the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. From 2002 to 2011 he was Head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reporting to the Director General, in which capacity he dealt with high-priority verification cases involving Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, South Korea and Syria; and was Coordinator of Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle from 2003-2012. He was also the Alternate Head of the IAEA delegation to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Conferences from 2003 to 2010, and the IAEA Liaison and Point-of-Contact for a number of multilateral control regimes and United Nations Security Council committees. From 1987 to 2000 he was Expert Advisor to Canada’s NPT delegations.

The evening will be introduced and moderated by Rafal Rohozinski (SecDev)

Event Information

An immersive cultural experience hosted by the Intelligence Futures Working Group
Thursday 20th of October 2016
6 PM to 9 PM

LOCATION: to be confirmed – Korean restaurant on Somerset Street.

Eventbrite registration page
Facebook event page

About the Intelligence Futures Working Group

The aim of the Intelligence Futures Working Group is to to provide foresight and to generate informed, evidence-based discussions addressing complex global security challenges. Participants are expected to come prepared to discuss the issues, articulate alternative interpretations, proposed competing strategies. The format for the evening will be immersive, engaging, and will require the audience to identify and vote on consequential action. A fun time is guaranteed for all!