The unprecedented series of six-party talks to resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear activities heralded a new and indelibly regional dynamic in Northeast Asia. Even if the process does not achieve all its objectives, the multilateral legacy that it leaves behind should not be squandered. Policy makers need to coordinate regional efforts, not only on the deal-making process regarding North Korea's nuclear programs, but also on back-end issues relating to how the logistical and technical process of dismantling North Korean weapons of mass destruction (WMD) could actually unfold and of facilitating the country's engagement with the international community. The talks began as a diplomatic process. However, the opportunity exists for this mechanism to evolve from a purely diplomatic function into a more institutionalized body with certain logistical and technical capabilities better able to monitor and implement WMD and other security-related agreements that may emerge from the talks. This monograph builds on several multilateral workshops involving scholars and government officials from the United States, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and Australia.
It describes steps that the countries can take to build six-party capacity and enhance regional security.