No Progress in North Korean Talks

November 30, 2006

North Korea has been in pre-negotiation talks this week with the US and China in Beijing. The US is urging North Korea to “get out of the nuclear business” while the Korean side says it is not ready to fully abandon its nuclear program. In other words, there’s been no progress thusfar, though the Korean side has promised to study ideas put forth by the US and host China.

It makes no sense for North Korea to simply give up its nuclear program as it is currently the biggest asset the regime has. It is North Korea’s nuclear test which got the country back to the negotiating table with a negotiating advantage. With the regime currently at a weak point, it will not give up its bargaining chip easily: the US must be willing to first lift financial sanctions imposed on North Korea last year. A significant aid package will also have to be involved.


4 Responses to “No Progress in North Korean Talks”

  1. PatternRec Says:

    Do you think a repeal of sanctions would really have NK working to stop it’s nuclear program?

    The problem is that you’re right but in my opinion your solution is still wrong. NK is very unwilling to give up its nuclear program because it is all they have to bargain with. But if the US starts making things easier for NK through repealing sanctions, aid package, etc., why would NK stop there? All that will do is prove that the rest of the world acknowledges the bargaining chip, so why shouldn’t they see just how much they can get out of it?

  2. Hey Pattern Recognition,

    Actually I don’t disagree with you. I said the US must be willing to lift sanctions, but not that they must simply lift them. I think if incentives of aid are made clear, it will help.

    But I’m not sure about the solution, because you’re right, North Korea will try to milk everything out of its nuclear advantage. The US should signal the advantages North Korea will gain if they abandon their nuclear ambitions, and those advantages must be significant enough. Maybe as significant as Clinton’s Administration’s offer was — it went so far that the US wasn’t able to fulfill all promises (for various reasons), which is partially why North Korea started acting up and reneging on its own promises.

    Both sides must agree to, on principal, take certain steps and the US must offer something more than “abandon your program first.” Though, we obviously don’t know all that’s going on behind closed doors. These are the pre-negotiation talks and obviously ideas are being thrown back-and-forth, so that both sides know what the other wants.


  3. […] The comments from the IAEA chief come after there was no progress at pre-negotiation talks between North Korea, China and the US. Posted by Dmitri Marine Filed in news, politics, current events, north korea, nuclear proliferation […]

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