Tensions between U.S. and North Korea Rise

Jeong Jae Sung  |  2008-08-19 16:09
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While the U.S. and North Korea have not been able to establish a verification regime for the North Korean nuclear program, North Korea has expressed discontent with the delayed removal of North Korea from the list of terrorism sponsoring states.

Chosun Central News Agency issued a stern criticism on Monday, through a news article entitled A provocative act to ruin the process of denuclearization on the Chosun (Korea) Peninsula, that The U.S. has not been keeping its promises, even though the deadline for implementation has expired. It is an obvious breach of the principle, action for action.

Regarding U.S. President George W. Bushs comment about North Korean human rights when he visited Seoul, the news agency added that It is an intentional act in order to create a barrier in front of the Six Party Talks and to avoid implementing the October 3 Agreement.

North Korea started publicly criticizing the U.S. after the 11th, when it was supposed to be removed from the list of terrorism sponsor states. Until that day, North Korea had not revealed any discontent over this issue with the U.S.

The U.S. emphasizes that North Korea needs to agree to establish a nuclear verification regime ahead of the terrorism list removal according to the action-for-action principle. North Koreas submission of a nuclear verification plan is a key precondition for its removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that "Our policy is basically action for action," he added that "What we require right now is that verification package from North Korea before we can go forward with the delisting."

An affiliate with the South Korean government suggested that Although negotiations have been undertaken in a tense atmosphere, a standstill between the U.S. and North Korea surrounding the verification of the North Korean nuclear program will continue for the time being.

Some suggest North Korea is trying to claim more rewards for establishing a verification regime. North Korea requires the U.S. to assist it in joining international financial organizations such as the IMF or ADB as a reward for the establishment of the verification regime.

However, the U.S. is showing its negative feeling towards those ideas through its reiteration that the verification be up to the international standards. Therefore, it does not seem likely to be easy to overcome the gulf between their opinions.

The plan of the South Korean and the U.S. governments, within which they pursue establishing the verification regime within this month, looks inevitably on the way towards deadlock. Additionally, the possibility that the Six Party Talks will run ineffectively in the medium term is high.
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