[imText1]Ministry of Foreign affairs of North Korea’s statement that it withdraws from the six-party talks in spite of the neighboring countries with their hope set high to restart the talks, which brought a big disappointment to the countries. The South Korean government also stated that it will not tolerate North Korean and North Korea’s withdrawal from the talks will not help itself. Although the government’s statement was no more than diplomatic position making, but internally, the government seems to be quite busy trying to figure out what is happening in North Korea and to come up with a counterplan.
Firstly, the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ban Ki Moon, who is currently on his visit to the US, will finish his talks with the US by the end of this month. He is to make plans with other countries at the Korea-US-Japan Meeting, which will be held at the end of this month.
The US government has calmed down and Bush proposed again the solution to be principles of the six party talks on February 11th, but the possibility of the US’ intensifying pressure on North Korea. US is coming to the end of its patience and this is because the Neo-cons still holds powerful voice who demands for the hard-lien policy towards North Korea in the Bush administration.
In any case, because the US has been consistent with its strategic “benign neglect,” which is from the brinkmanship policy, it seems like it will be difficult for North Korea to gain something special from playing games.
The interpretation of both the US and South Korea that the North Korea’s recent statement is North Korea’s typical “end of cliff exaggeration of its price” seems correct. In fact, North Korea’s statement is taken as prelude to the negotiation rather than an actual “nuclear state” statement. It is true that North Korean nuclear alarm has gone up a level, but it is not right to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear state. In other words, instead of talking about possession nuclear weapons, it must have acceptable evidence. If the other nuclear states react sensitively to the North Korea’s “nuclear state” proclamation, we will fall into the Pyongyang’s tricks.
The US also looks at the situation as that because it always wanted solving the nuclear problem through dialogues, responding to North Korea every movement will do no good. However, if the US changes it policy from “through dialogues” to “through sanctions,” the situation can rapidly aggravate. This is because US can use a strong isolationist policy with the UN Security Council as well as its allies. Economic isolation can work as a serious threat to North Korea for it can be the first step to other hard-line policies.
Experts in the countries related predict that North Korea’s “nuclear state” proclamation will actually aggravate the entire situation rather than bring out a better proposal from the US. Since the interpretation that the statement is the “prelude to the negotiation,” is more likely, there is an increase of belief that North Korea has come out of the negotiation table.
Professor Ryu Ho Yeol of Korea University prospected that “It seems as a premature decision that North Korea has made about coming out as a nuclear state when North Korea’s negotiation strategy has been all revealed. US have been consistent with its position, and therefore it seems more likely that US will take a harder line against North Korea rather than suggesting a new proposal.”
“North Korea’s statement has made even the position of China, who has been holding the key to the coming talks with the US support, more difficult,” Ryu said. “If the possibility of solving through dialogues fails, there is a possibility of US taking a strong position such as imposing economic sanctions or taking the matter to the UN Security Council,” Ryu noted.
Suh Jae Jin, researcher at the Unification Institute said, “I think North Korea believes that the second term Bush administration is disinterested in the North Korean matter and is taking a confronting position rather than a negotiation position. Since the US has many cards to solve this nuclear problem, it will pursue to solve the matter through negotiations in the long term.”
Ryu Jil Jae, professor at Graduate School of North Korean Studies says in the premise that neither North Korea nor the US takes an extreme position on the North Korea’s recent statement of nuclear possession, “As it has shown in Rice’s “outposts of tyranny” statement, the US has already made clear that North Korea is evil in its existence. US intend to include the international society in the American way of solving the matter. North Korea’s recent statements will only help the US.”
Hong Jin Pyo, the commissioner of the Liberalists’ Alliance interprets that North Korean statement does not have much to do with the six-party talks, but it is from Pyongyang’s intention to amplify American responsibility in order to leave no room for the multiparty talks. It focuses on nuclear possession as well as building more weapons therefore proclaiming the end of the nuclear negotiations.
Hong prospected, “North Korea has already admitted its nuclear possession and declared that it has no intentions to return to the talks, which made solving the matter through dialogues much harder. I believe the UN Security Council will get ready to restrictive position on North Korea.”