It's every diplomat's dream come true: the opportunity to negotiate with a famously erratic dictator in command of a repressive nuclear-armed regime that was once a charter member of the Axis of Evil. (See the top 10 embarrassing diplomatic moments.)
Okay, maybe not. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's choice to be Special Representative for North Korea Policy, Stephen W. Bosworth, is probably as well-prepared as anyone for the challenge. A career diplomat with years of experience in Asia, Bosworth, 69, is a former Ambassador to South Korea who led the effort to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program in 1994 that resulted in the Agreed Framework treaty. Bosworth was dispatched Monday on his first mission to Asia; he is expected to discuss ways to best bring momentum to the deadlocked six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States.
Graduated from Dartmouth College in 1961 and later pursued graduate studies in economics at George Washington University
Bosworth has served in diplomatic posts in Panama, Spain, and France and later held several senior posts in the State Department in Washington.
Served as ambassador to Tunisia from 1979 to 1981 and as Ambassador to the Philippines from 1984 to 87, during the tumultuous People Power revolution that saw President Ferdinand Marcos overthrown in 1986.
From 1995 to 1997, he served as the executive director of KEDO, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, an entity created to implement some of the points of the 1994 Agreed Framework that attempted to freeze North Korea's nuclear program.
Served as U.S. ambassador to South Korea from 1997-2000.
Bosworth is currently the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is expected to keep this role despite his new position.
"We believe his involvement will facilitate high-level engagement with North
Korea and our other partners, and enhance our efforts to move forward in the
Six-Party process and to realize our goal of the complete and verifiable
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announcing Bosworth's appointment at press conference, February 26, 2009
"Another important step forward in resolving the North Korean issue. It is
an encouraging sign of the Obama administration's seriousness commitment to
the denuclearization of North Korea."
Tong Kim, a professor at Ilmin Institute of International Relations at Korea University and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, on Bosworth's appointment. Korea Times, Feb. 22, 2009
"I think [Bosworth] would be a very good appointment. He has had experience
in the most senior levels."
Selig Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy. Boston Globe, Feb. 13. 2009
"The U.S. is, to put it mildly, distracted. We're not able to bring the
same level of attention to a problem like North Korea that we might have
been able to bring five, ten years ago."
In an address to the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Inauguration, Oct 4, 2006
"The U.S. continues to wish that North Korea would disappear. That really
is our policy. So we had four years of no policy for North Korea other than
waiting for them to collapse, and we've now had six years of that same
policy, waiting for them to collapse. And you can say a lot of things about
North Korea, most of them bad, but one reality is they will not go gently
into that dark night."
to the U.S.-Korea Institute, Oct 4, 2006
"Much of diplomacy is rewarding bad behavior. You're trying to figure out
how you can stop the worst of the behavior at the lowest possible price."
In response to criticism that the US would be rewarding bad behavior by directly engaging with North Korea. on PBS' "FRONTLINE," Feb. 21, 2003
"The first thing we need to do is draw a collective deep breath and seek
On how the US should best handle the perpetual political stalemate with North Korea. Newsweek, Oct. 14, 2006