[imText1]David Straub, former U.S. State Department’s Korea Chief forecasted, “If there is further development regarding the February 13th Agreement, North Korea will make even more requests” and that the agreement’s fulfillment will not go smoothly.
On the 17th, former chief Straub participated in “The Korean Peninsula after February 13th Agreement” forum sponsored by New Right Foundation (Head Ahn Byung Jik) and gave an evaluation on the delay in North Korea’s denuclearization due to the Banco Delta Asia (BDA) problem.
He said, “In such a situation, President Bush can turn around to a hard-line policy or compromise once more, but he will reach a limit” and gave a pessimistic forecast regarding fulfillment of the February 13th Agreement.
He further predicted, “Because President Bush does not want to acknowledge the failure of the six-party talks, he may be willing to come forward to try a little more despite the disappointing progress of the talks. Until the completion of the Bush administration, the current situation where North Korea and the U.S. are going in parallel lines will ensue.”
Straub assessed that South Korea is showing an oversensitive response to the recent change in U.S.’ North Korea policy. He flatly refused concerns that the U.S.’s goal has been changed from denuclearization to nonproliferation.
He expressed, “South Korea seems to blowing up the February 13th joint declaration to make its analysis. You can say the U.S.’ North Korea policy has been significantly changed, but it has not been completely changed and moreover, there will not be good relations with a nuclear North Korea.”
”The U.S. will at some point feel the limit of North Korea’s requests”
Additionally, he stressed, “It is not just President Bush, but no other president can accept North Korea’s nuclear capability. The expression of “complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” (CVID) was not used at the February 13th joint declaration, but we did not abandon this altogether. President Bush dislikes Kim Jung Il and abhors him. One cannot say his fundamental philosophy has changed.”
[imText2]He also emphasized that North Korea has not changed. “North Korea has previously said several times publicly and privately that it will abandon nuclear weapons if the U.S. abandons its hostile approach, but this is just one of its tactical expression.” “North Korea is not a democratic country, so it can always change. One cannot believe it as it is.”
He also said, “President Bush knows hardly anything about North Korea. He probably does not know about the problem of the light-water reactor (which North Korea will demand). When Assistant Secretary Hill directly reports to Secretary of State Rice, the President will decide base on that.”
Cha Doo Hyun, National Defense Researcher and Department Chief, said, “The change in U.S.’ North Korea policy cannot be seen as fundamental. From the “conversion diplomacy” perspective of the 2nd Bush Administration, it can be said that they are using negotiation and dialogue if a hard-line approach does not work.”
He stated, “Following the February 13th agreement, North Korea has to create a list regarding all of its nuclear programs, but it has to promise domestically and with the international society the extent to which it will abandon its nuclear policy and disclose all policies that it has pursued until now.”
”North Korea disclosing its nuclear programs only possible with an alteration in politics”
He commented, “This is a very burdensome thing for North Korea. The force that supports a denuclearization policy has to become stronger or there has to some kind of a fixed political change.”
On one hand, Sungshin Women’s University Professor Kim Young Ho pointed out in regards to structure of peace on the peninsula, “Of the numerous public statements and agreements that came out from the six party talks, which was started to resolve the second round of North’s nuclear threats, contents related to improvement of North Korea’s human rights cannot be found at all.”
He proposed an evaluation of the “Seoul Process,” the “South Korea’s Helsinki model,” which simultaneously deals with North Korea’s nuclear weapons, economic cooperation, and the human rights problem as the “top three priorities.”
Daily NK editor chief Sohn Kwang Ju forecasted, “Like a curse, North Korea will continue the line of having two-party talks with the U.S., stressing that the U.S. should give up its hostile policy against North Korea.” “The Kim Jong Il regime will demand the utmost means for their gain and if this does not happen, will wait until the next administration.”
He stated, “The possibility of North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons and plutonium in order to have a relationship with the U.S. is virtually impossible” and “the process of fulfilling the February 13th joint declaration will have to continue with the delay in time. It looks like a share of the nuclear weapons and plutonium will have to be resolved by the next U.S. administration.”