The definition of “nuclear weapons” that was excluded from the February 13 Agreement has been under debate at the recent Six Party Talks’ working group talks for Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It seems that North Korea is trying to manipulate the term “nuclear programs” (including plutonium and HEU, high enriched uranium) which falls under Article 2, clause 2 and Article 4 of the agreement, arguing that nuclear weapons is not on the list of items to report.
Rather, it seems that North Korea is trying to take advantage of the situation and assert that the issue of nuclear weapons is a ‘U.S.-North Korea military issue’ that needs to be discussed at the nuclear or peace talks with the U.S.
While undergoing the processes of agreeing to report nuclear programs and disabling its nuclear facilities, it seems that North Korea will insist that the U.S. removes it from the list of states sponsor of terrorism and terminate the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act with the respect with North Korea, as well as benefiting from the 950,000tons of fuel.
On top of this, North Korea is likely to push for the 2mn kilowatts of electricity from South Korea and discuss the provision of light water reactors under Article 1 and 3 of the September 19 Joint Statement. It is expected that North Korea will assert, “You must provide light water reactors since we have disabled our nuclear facilities and nuclear programs, and we can no longer use our nuclear energy peacefully.’
Hence, North Korea refuses to surrender its nuclear weapons arguing that the U.S. must remove its North Korea sanctions and provide light water reactors. Only then will they consider disabling nuclear facilities, surrender of all nuclear programs and discuss normalizing U.S.-North Korea relations.
Further, many speculate that North Korea will base its discussions regarding the possession of its nuclear weapons on the “denuclearization of the Chosun (Korea) peninsula” and request that U.S. troops are removed from South Korea as an act of evidence to the U.S. relinquishing its hard-line policy and complete destruction to the Korea-U.S. military alliance, as well as connecting all this to the U.S.-North Korea nuclear military agreement.
Undoubtedly, it is difficult to say that North Korea will succeed in all its strategic negotiations. However, it is obvious that this is North Korea’s aim as displayed by a series of their actions in the same way and these processes are without doubt currently underway.
The issue remaining is that more time is needed for North Korea to be accepted as a nuclear state by the international community. In order to accomplish these strategic maneuvers North Korea needs to obtain an official stamp from the international community instating itself as a nuclear state. The guaranteed approach would be to launch a second nuclear test. Nonetheless, with the U.S. and North Korea current on appeasement terms, not only would a second test consume a lot of money but there is no need enforce actions that would further aggravate China. Rather, a more casual approach is needed.
With the upcoming Inter-Korea Summit Talks on October 2nd, it is expected that Kim Jong Il will casually use Roh Moo Hyun who is expected to visit Pyongyang. It is expected that Kim Jong Il will test Roh Moo Hyun at one point in acknowledging North Korea as a nuclear state.
During the talks, Kim Jong Il may casually drop a hint, “I am aware that our military owns such and such nuclear weapons” as if talking about other country’s case, then unexpectedly add, “However, there would be no need to carry nuclear weapons if the U.S. did not pursue a hard-line policy” suggesting denuclearization on the Chosun peninsula, removal of U.S. troops in South Korea.
There is nothing for South Korea, Japan or the U.S. to do but accept comments such as these. This would just be the beginning to Kim Jong Il impartially commenting, “We have a couple of nuclear weapons.”
Further, comments such as these are above all, a message must be directed at U.S. President Bush.
Alienating the Korea-U.S. alliance while receiving all economic aid through Roh Moo Hyun and the Inter-Korea summit would be more than enough for Kim Jong Il. Either way, it would not be possible to surrender nuclear weapons and since agreements with the U.S. are progressing well, the Inter-Korea Summit would have been an easy ride for Kim Jong Il.
The whole case would be well adorned if by manipulating Roh Moo Hyun as leverage, Kim Jong Il is able to re-negotiate the issue of the Northern Limit Line (NLL). If the U.S. and North Korea do re-negotiate the issues surrounding the NLL, the issue of peace on the Korean peninsula will be completed ousted.
A number of critical talks lead up to the Inter-Korea Summit on October 2nd including the U.S.-North Korea working group talks, the Six Party Cabinet Talks and normalization of Korea-U.S. relations.
Until the December presidential elections, the South Korean community and fate of the Korean Peninsula draws deeper to the nuclear storm.