the post-Cold War period. The United States has never had formal diplomatic relations with the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the official name for North Korea). Negotiations over
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program have consumed the past three U.S. administrations, even
as some analysts anticipated a collapse of the isolated authoritarian regime. North Korea has been
the recipient of well over $1 billion in U.S. aid and the target of dozens of U.S. sanctions.