The U.S. is not seeking regime change in North Korea but believes a change in the North's behavior is a prerequisite for any improvement in bilateral relations, the special representative for North Korea policy, Stephen Bosworth, said on Tuesday. "We do not regard regime change as the outcome of our policy, but we do regard a change in regime behavior as necessary to any fundamental improvement in the overall relationship," he told a Senate hearing.
Bosworth added North Korea should not fear harm from the U.S. Regarding calls for the international community to wait until the North Korean regime collapses, Bosworth said, "I'm not very confident about regime collapse as a route toward stability on the Korean Peninsula. No, I think we have to deal with North Korea as we find it, not as we would like it to be perhaps at some point in the future."
John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in the hearing that U.S. and North Korean representatives need to hold talks at some point and that the best option would be for Washington and Seoul to closely cooperate on the matter. Bosworth responded that the Barack Obama administration does not want to hold talks to discuss the prospect of holding more talks, and wants to see evidence that Pyongyang is living up to its promises to dismantle its nuclear program.
Regarding the possibility of redeploying tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, Bosworth said their deployment is not under consideration since South Korea has "more than adequate" means to deter North Korean attacks.