North Korea a Complicated and Inexplicable System

[imText1] “It’s hard to guess what North Korea is thinking. It’s a complicated and inexplicable system,” expressed Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min Soon on the 21st.

At a monthly gathering held at the Lotte Hotel, for alumnus of political science of Seoul National University, Minister Song said “There are times in foreign affairs when we must select from two alternatives. Rather than selecting the choice that is most perfect to our tastes, sometimes we don’t have a choice but to select the option to the dislike of our appetite.”

“The first resolution to North Korea’s nuclear issue was the Feb 13 Agreement which had insecure roots and the worst process possible, to the extent that participating nations need not pay much attention,” Minister Song said and added, “If the Sept 19 Mutual Declaration was a plan for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, then the Feb 13 Agreement was the preliminary specifications.”

Following the Feb 13 Agreement, Minister Song had made it clear that the concept of disablement had been focused on our (South Korea’s) agenda and deemed that, “normally, negotiations are more advanced that plans.” However, he retreated from this stance suggesting that the negotiations on North Korea’s nukes would not be easy.

He said, “While other nations hold many cards, North Korea’s has only one, its nuclear weapons. For this reason, rather than making numerous strict requests simultaneously, there is leeway to make demands successively” and remarked, “If North Korea does not satisfy the tenets of the agreement, there will be enormous consequences. Hence, there is a need to secure the agreement.”

However, Minister Song revealed, “There are many strategic profits to be gained from resolving the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons such as preventing the proliferation of nuclear arms and establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. So, if we are to make some investment, we are planning to do it with boldness.”

In relation to the six party talks, Minister Song metaphorically used the example of a train climbing the high Swiss mountains, “We must ensure that there is no backtracking (the train) and push forward so that there can be no retreat (six party talks).”

He said, “North Korea has nuclear weapons for a number of reasons including security, economic and domestic issues. Hence, it will not be effective to approach the situation with an operative stratagem…Rather a 3-dimensional approach is needed. One in which Korea and the U.S. are on par with.”

Regarding the chances of progress at the recent working group talks for the normalization of South-North Korea, Minister Song said, “The abolition of North Korea’s nuclear weapons are included on the agenda of the South-North working group talks and if we could strengthen the benefits of the six party talks, we would.” However he remarked, “At the moment, we are not in that kind of position and do not have a specific plan which outlines the characteristics of the working group talks or possible results.”

In relation to the understanding of disabling the nuclear program he said, “Termination is like closing the door to nuclear programs and pulling down the shutters. Disabling the program is only prohibiting its use…Technically, it is the stage before closure.”

Then he added, “The aim is to ensure that North Korea will fulfill all the promises made at the Sept 19 Mutual Declaration regarding all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear plans.”