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Archive for the ‘Six Party Talks’ Category

North Korea Update: Clinton Expected to Name Stephen Bosworth As U.S. Special Envoy

Posted by proliferationpr on February 12, 2009

Reuters reports that Stephen Bosworth will be named U.S. envoy to the six-party talks, taking the role Christopher Hill played in the Bush administration from 2005-2008. 

Learn more about Stephen Bosworth, and check out Reaching Out to Pyongyang—a May 12th, 2008 Newsweek article Bosworth co-authored with Morton Abramowitz.  (Update: In Reaching Out to Pyongyang, Bosworth & Abramowitz call for a long-term strategy towards North Korea that looks beyond soley denuclearization–and push for gradual steps towards diplomatic normalization with the Kim Jong-il regime. While this perscription may not seem trailblazing, it takes regime change  off the table.)

Bosworth’s appointment would fill-out Obama’s team for the nuclear-charged Korean peninsula—where previous diplomatic breakthroughs have hit snags.

Stephen Bosworth now works as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and previously served as ambassador to the Republic from Korea under the Clinton administration.

Notes: Sum Kim currently serves as Special Envoy to the Six Party talks, taking the post in July 2008. And Christopher Hill has been slated as Obama’s ambassador to Iraq

Posted in North Korea, Six Party Talks | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

North Korea Diplomacy Rolls Forward

Posted by K.E. White on October 3, 2007


North Korea has signed onto the second-phase of six party negotiations, possibly disabling their nuclear facilities by December 2007.

But this success is still partial: with Christopher Hill making it clear that North Korea’s “complete, full denuclearization” a 2008 goal.

From Reuters:

North Korea could disable its nuclear facilities by the end of this year under a tentative accord reached in six-party negotiations over its atomic programmes, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Talks in Beijing between the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia ended on Sunday to allow delegates to discuss a joint statement, which includes details on the next phase of the denuclearisation plan, with their governments.

Under the draft agreement, North Korea would disable three facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex and declare its nuclear programmes — including its uranium enrichment plans — by the end of the year, diplomatic sources in Tokyo told Reuters.

Read the full text of the agreement here.

The Guardian gives great coverage the story, focusing on US Envoy Christopher Hill’s view of the agreement:

Christopher HillOnce there is a six-party agreement, Hill said on Tuesday in New York, the U.S. expects the process of disabling the reactor to get under way “in a matter of weeks.” The U.S. wants the dismantling process so thorough that a nuclear facility could not be made operational for at least 12 months.

“We will then be able to move to what we hope will be a final phase,” Hill said. “That is in the calendar year 2008 which will deal with the actual abandonment of the fissile material.”

Hill said the North – officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK – has about 110 pounds of fissile material harvested from the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, and will have to declare exactly how much. The U.S. also wants to resolve concerns about the North’s uranium enrichment program, he said.

Posted in Christopher Hill, North Korea, Second phase, Six Party Talks | 2 Comments »

North Korea: Still Unresolved, Still a Problem

Posted by K.E. White on June 7, 2007

Remember the February 13th agreement that was going to fix the North Korean nuclear crisis?

Well, it looks like putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle is proving difficult.

Talks are again stalling over financial squabbles between North Korea and the United States. Russia is publicly blaming the United States for the delay, showing cracks within the partners that brokered the February deal with North Korea (America, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea).

Naturally Japan and the United States are arm-in-arm in expecting stern action from the G-8. (Between the war of words between Russia and America, Global Warming and Global Poverty, there’s little reason to expect anything substanial from the G-8 on North Korea).

Meanwhile, Australia may install an antiballistic missile system to counter the North Korean threat. From the Sidney Morning Herald:

The Royal Australian Navy will consider installing SM-3 surface-to-air missiles as part of an Aegis ballistic missile defence system on its three destroyers, which enter service in 2013. The upgrade would bolster the Aegis anti-ballistic missile shield already used by the US and soon to be introduced by Japan.

America has already expanded this technology to Japan–bringing with it leaks of the sensitive information. From United Press International:

Data on the U.S.-made Aegis defense system may not have been the only classified material leaked by members of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Sources told the Kyodo news service it appears information on the advanced SM-3 surface-to-air missile and the Link 16 data exchange system also made their way into the hands of unauthorized military personnel.

The sources close to the military and civilian investigation into the leaks, gave no other details but “police confirmed the latest cases of information leak, based on analyses of voluntarily submitted materials, such as personal computers,” the report said.

Posted in AEGIS leak, Australia, G-8, Japan, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, proliferation, Russia, Six Party Talks | Leave a Comment »

Ahmadinejad: Iran Ready to Talk on Nukes and the Holocaust?

Posted by K.E. White on February 14, 2007

Iran Ready for Nuclear Talks…?President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells ABC News his country is open to a nuclear dialogue:

“We are opposed to any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. We believe that the time is now over for nuclear weapons.

It’s a time for logic, for rationality, and for civilisation,” Ahmadinejad told ABC news.

“We’re always ready to talk within the framework of regulations and as long as the rights of the nations are safeguarded.”

He denied suggestions that he sought conflict with the US, saying Iran was “trying to find ways to love people.”

Proliferation Press’s Read: This is an old line by Ahmadinejad. While he remains open to talks, his refuses to meet the American condition for starting them: stopping all uranium enrichment. Who will blink first, Bush or Ahmadinejad?

Vikram Sood, providing a fascinating Indian perspective on U.S.-Iran relations and America’s mission in Iraq, argues that neither President will blink. Instead President Bush will order a pre-emptive air strike on Iran.

As India’s former intelligence chief, Sood’s column demands attention.

Sood warns that such an attack’s “shockwaves will reach our shores sooner than we imagine.”

How the North Korean nuclear accord will affect Iranian calculus has yet to be seen, but Iran is undoubtedly watching to see if the P-5 members of the six party talks (America, Russia and China) are able to keep a united front.

These three countries ability to find common ground towards the Iranian nuclear question is critical to any diplomatic solution.

Ahmadinejad Connects the Holocaust with Palestine

Asked if he was willing to travel to Auschwitz and Nuremberg for documentations on the Holocaust, the Iranian leader asked what purpose this would serve.

“One of the methods used for concealing the truth is diverting the topic. The question is, if Holocaust is true, how is it related to the Palestinian issue?”

“Why, for the excuse of the Holocaust, we have an illegitimate government in the Palestine?”

“Why in the name of the Holocaust do we allow people to occupy the land of some and make them refugees and kill children and innocent people on the street?”

“These are the questions which must be answered by American politicians,” Ahmadinejad said.

Proliferation Press’s Read: Ahmadinejad is not standing down from his controversial Holocaust rhetoric. The substantial point here—not meant in any way to minimize the grossly offensive, dangerous, and deceitful rhetoric Ahmadinejad sprouts—is Ahmadinejad’s focus on Palestine: by supporting Palestine, Ahmadinejad is winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Arab Street.

Not a difficult task when you use America as your foil.

Dislodging Ahmadinejad and his country’s growing influence in the region will require the United States to pay attention to this issue, something that is being down now after many years of neglect.

But if rhetoric like this convinces Israel that it is under existential threat from Iran, some nations (Israel and America) will consider the Iranian regime irrational and hell-bent on destroying Israel.

Thus before Iran has the technological ability to do that through nuclear weapons, it will become likely either Israel or the United States will launch a pre-emptive strike. Such an action would bring international instability not seen for a generation.

Source for Ahmadinejad interview: Hindustan Times

Posted in Bush administration, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Hindustan Times, India, Iran, Iraq, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Palestine, Proliferation News, Security Studies, Six Party Talks, Vikram Sood, WMD | 11 Comments »

Japan and the North Korean Nuclear Agreement: In or Out?

Posted by K.E. White on February 13, 2007

The Japanese Prime Minister seems unsure as to whether he is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the recently concluded North Korean nuclear accord.

From Minister Shinzo Abe

‘Out’ Prime Minister Abe: “We cannot provide (energy) aid unless there’s progress over the abduction issue.”

‘In’ Prime Minister Abe: “We will cooperate in the efforts to move forward this framework aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear programme.”

Japan is one of the six parties that heralded the recently struck North Korean accord. Abe’s gymnastic exercise in diplomatic double-talk points to just how murky the North Korean nuclear issue remains.

What is this abduction issue? And why is it so important?

Breitbart offers this:

Abe took office last September, especially after winning public support for his work in trying to resolve the long-standing abduction issue.

Japan and North Korea are deadlocked in a dispute over the whereabouts of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and the two countries are divided over the number of kidnapped Japanese as well as over what happened to some of them.

On top of that, Japan last year slapped a series of economic sanctions on North Korea following Pyongyang’s ballistic missile test-launches in July and its first-ever nuclear test in October. The sanctions are still in place.

And Abe’s low popularity isn’t helping things:

Less than five months after taking office, Abe’s popularity is plummeting amid scandals and doubts over his ability to address problems including welfare costs and a rising disparity in incomes. Abe, 52, may face pressure to step down if his Liberal Democratic Party does poorly in July elections for parliament’s upper house.

A Kyodo News survey published Feb. 5 found that only 40.3 percent of Japanese approve of his performance, while 44.1 disapprove; his ratings have plummeted 25 points since he took office.

Proliferation Press has taken up the effects of Abe’s declining popularity before (with respect to America’s security strategy in the Pacific).

These two PINR reports provide an excellent overview of both Abe and the challenges now facing Japan.

Posted in Japan, North Korea, Proliferation News, Shinzo Abe, Six Party Talks | 1 Comment »