The current and oft repeated pattern of responses to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations has failed to produce results. With the stakes becoming increasingly high it is time that a new approach is explored. The success to date of the deal to cap Iran’s nuclear program offers clues to a different approach with North Korea.

Read senior researcher Sverre Lodgaard (NUPI) and Leon V Sigal's (SSRC) new policy brief titled How to Deal with North Korea: Lessons from the Iran Agreement, written for an published by The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), here.

North Korea’s position now is stronger than ever before – it has more bargaining chips. Conversely the threats posed by North Korea have never been greater.

A negotiated settlement is the only acceptable outcome. The key will be to have a broad enough agenda for negotiations to ensure all parties see benefit: addressing the nuclear and missile issues, economic issues (removal of sanctions) and security issues (a Korean peace treaty to replace the armistice).

The alternatives to negotiations are war or another nuclear weapon state with a de facto nuclear deterrent capability. Neither prospect will make any nation in the region more secure.