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The experience of U.S.-DPRK negotiations during the first North Korean nuclear crisis has framed American and North Korean strategies and tactics as they have approached the second crisis. The six party talks negotiating format itself has been favored by the Bush administration based on its own perception of lessons learned from the Clinton administration’s experience. For its part, the DPRK leadership has relied on a range of familiar tactics in the initial rounds of talks, including calculated efforts to utilize brinkmanship and crisis escalation to catalyze a direct response to the Bush administration. In the case of both Washington and Pyongyang, the use of these tactics reveal that until North Korea’s nuclear test on October 9th, 2006, neither side had truly committed itself to resolving the nuclear issue through a give-and-take negotiation process. Instead, both sides have attempted to shape the environment to their own ends as a vehicle for reaping benefits through the mechanism of negotiations. The North Korean nuclear test achieved Pyongyang’s tactical goal of drawing the United States into direct talks, but against a strategic context that initially appeared to be relatively unfavorable to North Korea’s longer-term strategic aims. This paper will examine possible lessons learned from the first North Korean nuclear crisis, will review the progress of the six party process, and will analyze the tactics and strategies of the U.S. and DPRK, respectively, as well as the other parties to the talks.