Section 3: Dealing with North KoreaThis section summarizes efforts, during the period 1999-2006, made by Catalytic Diplomacy to resolve the problems posed by the nuclear program of North Korea and its general belligerence.
It includes attempts to start a high-level dialogue, attempts to prevent the sale of North Korean fissionable material and attempts to secure help from China in dealing with North Korea.
Chapter I (Seeking Dialogue with North Korea) shows how Stone tried to implement the idea that negotiations with North Korea would be advanced if—and probably only if—a senior U.S. diplomat would go to Pyongyang to discuss the issues face to face. In late 2002, with the help of an experienced colleague, Stone fashions a “quiet proposal” to make this happen and tries to generate support for this proposal in South Korea, China, and Russia. This chapter describes these energetic efforts, successes, and failures.
Chapter II (Deterring Sale of Fissionable Material) shows Stone’s efforts to deter the North Koreans from selling fissionable material by advising, cautioning, and threatening them that the sales would be exposed. Stone had suspected that DPRK fissionable material would have “fingerprints” that could trace the material sold back to North Korea. Confirming that this was so through communications with a talented physicist friend, he used trips to Seoul, Beijing, and Moscow to send appropriate messages to Pyongyang. Subsequently, he used reports of his campaign to generate much-needed interest in this subject in the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Department of Energy.
Chapter III (Proposing Ideas in Beijing) shows Stone’s use of his contacts in Beijing to suggest ideas for resolving various aspects of the North Korean problem. Of special interest was a method of swapping a hard line from Beijing for a soft line from Washington. Another idea was emulating the example of former President Jimmy Carter in resolving a North Korean crisis through preemptive diplomatic action that forced the hand of reluctant governments.
Stone's interest in North Korea began with a visit in 1991 that led him to attempt to organize CIA-KGB cooperation on North Korea. This (eventually successful) effort is discussed in Chapter 22 of "Every Man Should Try," titled "Forging a CIA-KGB Connection While Working for Neither".