Gloucester City Hall
How to Avoid Nuclear War with North Korea
NOTE: THIS FORUM IS ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 23 AT 8 P.M., NOT OUR USUAL SUNDAY SCHEDULE!
Foreign policy expert Rajan Menon, who specializes in Asia, will outline a scenario for a diplomatic approach to the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea. The alternative, he warns, is a potential nuclear disaster that could claim thousands of lives, perhaps more.
Professor Menon argues that the tactics President Trump has used to compel North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program have only caused its leader, Kim Jong-un, to up the ante. “By now,” he says, “this much ought to be clear: North Korea hasn’t been cowed into compliance by Washington’s warnings and military muscle flexing. The more Pyongyang suspects that Washington’s real goal is regime change, the less likely it will be to relinquish its nuclear weapons for fear of suffering the fate of [Libyan leader] Muammar Gaddafi.”
Menon proposes a diplomatic approach based on reciprocity to de-escalate the confrontation while laying the groundwork for what he calls “a grand bargain that combines aid and political normalization in return for denuclearization and the pullback and reduction of troops on the Korean peninsula.”
Rajan Menon is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York, a Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and a Global Ethics Fellow at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Illinois and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants.
Andrew J. Bacevich, a History and International Relations professor at Boston University and a two-time Cape Ann Forum speaker, calls Menon’s latest publication, The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention, “an immensely admirable book — concise, lucid, and above all tough-minded.”
Menon’s other books include Ukraine in Conflict: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order (2015) and The End of Alliances (2007). His commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Huffington Post, The Nation, and National Interest, among other major media.