Posted by: bklunk | December 4, 2006

Korean Dilemma

jkdavis says

Simon Says

 Who’s calling the shots these days?  It looks like returnees to the six-party talks will not be coming empty handed- particularly North Korea.  Although being a technically- though officially unacknowledged- nuclear power (perhaps nuclear possessor?), North Korea will have to make concessions of its own, and the US’ CHristopher Hill,  with nods of approval from the North Korean Republic’s neighbor Japan, demands that before anyone returns to the table,  that North Korea takes some action.  Just what that entails would include: a report of all nuclear facilities and programs, acceptance of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency back into the country, as well as the closing of its plutonium producing nuclear reactor in Younbyon (where weapon detonated in October originated) as well as complete burial of the underground nuclear test site.   These four conditions were agreed upon by the US, South Korea and Japan when they met earlier last month in Hanoi.  Christopher Hill’s North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan promised to take these conditions for the new round of the six-nation talks back to Pyongyang and his superiors there.    

If anything, this will be a test of the North Korean flexibility, and the response will prove informative about the direction of policy and intentions North Korean leadership has in mind for its infant nuclear program. A refusal of one or more of these conditions would aggravate the situation considerably, and what alternatives there actually maybe don’t come easily to mind.  Is there enough pressur from the international community to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, as the world seems to hope?  Or will we just have to live with a nuclear North Korea?


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  1. Is there enough international pressure to force North Korea to give up its nuclear program? I am leaning towards yes. After North Korea conducted its test, the international community was outraged. The fact that the US, Japan, and South Korea were all able to come to an agreeement on the terms that North Korea should follow really strenghtens the pressure on North Korea. If North Korea refuses to follow these conditions, I do not know that there are many other options for the international community. However, I do not think living with a nuclear North Korea should be one of these options.

  2. If the United States wants to avoid any more conflict with North Korea, we could have the bi-lateral talks with them instead of forcing them into a corner by only allowing progress to be made if they have the 6-Party talks. It would make things alot easier for everyone, and of course, we would then have a nuclear-free North Korea.

  3. North Korea is begging for help. The country’s economy is poor and some of the population struggles daily to get a meal. N. Korea has tested America in the past during the Clinton Administration and dialogue in combination with some appeasement helped to diffuse the situation. Presently N. Korea is swamped with sanctions, and for good reason. Many of the activities its leadership partakes in are threatening to our national security. Sure its leadership wants attention, but more importantly they want help. By testing a nuke, the country made headlines across the globe which sparked serious talks once again. Soon after, its leadership apologized. N. Korea just wants enough attention so that it actually has a bargaining chip during multi-party talks. If the international community were to pull together and offer N. Korea some humanitarian aide in exchange for safer practices on N. Korea’s part, I think some much needed progress could be made.

  4. I agree with ZDuck with the fact that North Korea is really acting almost irrationally as almost a “cry for help”. Hopefully North Korea can soon swallow its pride at some point and accept some humanitarian aide for its multiple starving and suffering citizens, but I don’t believe this will happen until North Korea feels validated by the 5 other countries in the 6-party talks. North Korea wants to be considered in decisions and seen as an influential power, that’s why it has been taking such extreme actions as developing a nuclear program, much like a depressed person who is crying out for help by acting irrationally–they just want attention and validation.

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