University of Pittsburgh
October 8, 2006

Pitt Expert Available for Comment on North Korea's Apparent Nuclear Test

Confirmation of detonation will expose policy failures, Pitt's William Keller says
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH--William Keller, University of Pittsburgh faculty expert on national security, is available to comment on North Korea's apparent nuclear test. Keller says a confirmed report of the nuclear test detonation will expose the folly of the U.S. policy not to enter into direct negotiations unless North Korea first agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in an "irreversible" and "verifiable" manner.

Keller, coeditor of the recently published book Hitting First: Preventive Force in U.S. Security Strategy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), says it appears that all the tough talk and sanctions throughout the past six years have come to naught. "That is because there never was an option except to negotiate," Keller says. "The difference is now that North Korea has demonstrated its nuclear capability, the United States and the other participants to the Six-Party talks-China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea-cannot afford to let North Korea become a failed nuclear weapons state.

"As we witness the run up to tougher sanctions in the United Nations Security Council, or contemplate the efficacy of a preventive military strike, we should think very carefully if we really want regime change in North Korea, or if we really want a social and political meltdown in an economically and politically fragile country that nevertheless now counts as one of the demonstrated nuclear powers," Keller added.

Keller is the Wesley W. Posvar Chair in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at Pitt.