Books: “Getting to Yes in Korea” by Walter C. Clemens, Jr.

GETTING TO YES IN KOREA, by Walter C. Clemens, Jr. (with a Foreword by Governor Bill Richardson). Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2010. x, 262 pp. paperback. ISBN 978-1-59451-407-4. This book review was written by CanKor Editor-in-Chief Erich Weingartner.

Many papers and books have been published over the years about North Korean negotiating behaviour and how to defend against it: Over the Line: North Korea’s Negotiating Strategy by Chuck Downs (AEI Press, 1999), Negotiating on the Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior by Scott Snyder (USIP Press, 1999) and To the Brink and Back: Negotiating with North Korea by Richard Saccone (Hollym, 2003), to name just three.

Walter C. Clemens, Jr., takes a different approach. He examines Washington’s negotiating behaviour for clues about what elements have failed and what might succeed in getting to “yes” with the DPRK. This is done by first taking the reader on a tour of history that illustrates major missed opportunities in negotiations of the past, as well as dramatic and surprising breakthroughs involving the USA and its Cold War adversaries, the USSR and China. The fourth chapter on the fateful decisions that produced the permanent division of Korea should be required reading for anyone intending to become involved with the DPRK, whether students, humanitarians or diplomats. Read the rest of this entry »

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