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    US-Korea Nuclear Roundtable
    123 Not as Easy as ABC for Congress
    April 03, 2013

    As the unofficial deadline for reaching an agreement in the 123 negotiations between the US and South Korea reaches closer, tensions and instability on the Korean Peninsula and the surrounding region have complicated the 123 process from the perspective of the US Congress. Pyongyang’s nuclear saber rattling and increasingly hostile rhetoric have instilled reservations within Congress about even peaceful nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula. Given the relative lack of expertise in technical and regional matters in Congress, there has been a tendency towards incorrectly conflating North Korea’s nuclear issues with peaceful nuclear cooperation with South Korea. In the eyes of Congress, current inter-Korean tensions also rest in the background of the Fukushima nuclear accident and growing volatility in the region overall. Given the recent timing of these incidents, Congress will likely be inclined to defer any decision with regards to the US-ROK 123.