North Korea

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Sat Aug 30 04:27:16 MDT 2003


BEIJING - A North Korean delegate to just-concluded six-way nuclear talks in
Beijing said on Saturday he saw no need for further discussions despite an
agreement by negotiators to meet again, but analysts dismissed the threat as
posturing. US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly had told reporters
earlier in the day the talks were productive but there was a long way to go
before the crisis was defused. "We had a nice visit and a productive start.
We have a long way to travel and don't know when we will be back here or
whether it will be somewhere else," Kelly said. "But a peaceful solution is
something we are going to work on." The three-day talks ended on Friday with
no major breakthrough, but the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, Japan
and host China agreed to meet again within two months. No place or date was

But the North Korean delegate told reporters at the airport further talks
were not necessary. "There's no need to hold this kind of talks," the
grim-looking delegate, whose identity was unknown, said. "We're no longer
interested. Our expectations have diminished." "We have concluded that the
United States has no intention to switch policy but is trying to disarm (us)
by using tricks," he said. "We have no other choice." The head of the North
Korean delegation, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong-il, did not make any
comments and looked solemn, in stark contrast to his arrival on Tuesday when
he smiled, waved at reporters and clasped his hands above his head.

Pyongyang has frequently used bluster when discussing its nuclear
capabilities and analysts dismissed this latest threat as similar rhetoric.
"The contradiction is a manoeuvre and consistent with North Korea's pattern
of behaviour in the past," said Shi Yinhong, an expert on international
relations at the People's University in Beijing. Paik Hak-soon, a senior
researcher at South Korea's Sejong Institute, added: "They're acting
strategically to strengthen their starting position for the next round of
negotiations." "It's a message to the United States, a reminder that the
North still has a card up its sleeves -- nuclear development." (...)

Pyongyang took a parting swipe at the United States on Friday, likening
Washington to a "brigand" determined to disarm and then invade North Korea.
Washington has branded reclusive Pyongyang part of an "axis of evil" along
with pre-war Iraq and Iran. The Bush administration says it is committed to
a peaceful resolution, but hawks in the United States favour regime change.
"The lack of credibility on both sides is a very serious obstacle" to
defusing the nuclear crisis, said Shi, the Chinese academic.

Nonetheless, South Korea's national security chief Ra Jong-yil had earlier
been upbeat. "We could expect the outlook for the next round of talks to be
positive," Ra told domestic SBS radio. "I'm confident." Ra brushed off
foreign media reports over North Korea declaring it possessed nuclear
weapons. "That's just a repeat of its stance that it has no other choice but
to go nuclear in case of no security guarantee," he said. "That's not
revealing its will to carry out a nuclear test." US officials have said
North Korea raised the rhetoric on Thursday by talking about carrying out a
test and saying it could declare itself a nuclear power.

Complete article

More information about the Marxism mailing list