North Korea's decisions and policies regarding nuclear weapons create a foreign policy problem for the United States. The main objective of the Bush Administration is to secure the dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based nuclear programs. Critics of the Bush Administration have charged that despite its tough rhetoric, the Administration gives North Korea a relatively low priority in U.S. foreign policy and takes a passive diplomatic approach to the nuclear issue and other issues. This report outlines the Administration's strategy in regards to this. It also describes international reactions and responses to this strategy and to the U.S.-North Korean relations in general.
The issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea demanded that the Clinton and Bush Administration remove North Korea from the terrorism support list. Secretary of State Clinton said on June 7, 2009, that the Obama Administration would consider reinstating North Korea on the list of state supporters of terrorism. However, she said that there would have to be "recent evidence of their support for international terrorism."