North KoreaPolitics

North Korea Watch: A Return to 6 Party Talks – A Diplomatic Win for President Bush

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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill walks to the departure hall after speaking to journalists, at Beijing airport November 1, 2006. Six-party talks aimed at reining in North Korea ‘s nuclear programme must achieve progress in the next round, Hill said on Wednesday before leaving China.

AP: N.Korea confirms return to nuclear talks

North Korea said Wednesday that it was returning to nuclear disarmament talks to get access to its frozen overseas bank accounts, a vital source of hard currency.

The North’s Foreign Ministry made only indirect mention of its underground nuclear detonation last month. Instead, it focused in an official statement on its desire to end U.S. financial restrictions by going back to six-nation arms talks that it has boycotted for a year.

Confirming other nations’ reports of the Tuesday agreement, the North’s Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang decided to return to negotiations “on the premise that the issue of lifting financial sanctions will be discussed and settled between the (North) and the U.S. within the framework of the six-party talks.”

Washington had banned transactions between American financial institutions and Banco Delta Asia SARL — a bank in the Chinese territory of Macau — saying it was being used by North Korea for money-laundering.

The ban is believed to have blocked access to some $24 million for the North’s leaders, who indulge their taste for luxury goods like cognac and fine wines while the vast majority of North Koreans live in poverty.

U.S. officials also sought to rally other countries to prevent the North from doing business abroad, saying all transactions involving Pyongyang were suspected of having to do with counterfeiting and money laundering.

In Seoul, South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said that he expects involved countries to discuss the disarmament talks when they gather in Vietnam for an Asia-Pacific summit in mid-November, and that negotiations among China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas were expected to take place after that. He did not indicate when.

The top U.S. nuclear negotiator said that the negotiations should start as early as possible.

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A North Korean soldier salutes to his senior soldiers at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, north of Seoul, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006. North Korea affirmed Wednesday it would return to nuclear disarmament talks to seek a resolution of a U.S. campaign aimed at choking the communist nation’s access to foreign banks.

No gurantees that Washington will TOLERATE North Korean counterfeiting of American currency but these financial sanctions have worked. Negotiations and talks are always preferable to bellicose nuclear demonstrations. Trust, but verify.

In the meantime the United States should proceed with post haste to build strategic and tactical missile defenses against North Korea. This will include expanding Japan’s anti-nuclear missile defense umbrella at sea and land.

Was this a diplomatic victory for President Bush?

Yes

Will the talks be successful?

Well, if not, Washington should increasingly tighten sanctions. No more caviar and wine/liquor for Kim Jong-Il. Also, existing United Nations sanctions/resolutions must be enforced until North Korea stands down their nuclear program – as they have promised.

Stay tuned…….

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Previous:

North Korea Watch: Pyongyang Threatens War Against South Korea

North Korea Watch: Kim Jong-Il REGRETS Nuclear Test

North Korea Nuclear Watch: President Bush – United States WILL Stop North Korean Nuclear Transfers

North Korea Nuclear Watch: Condoleezza Rice Promises United States Defense of Japan

North Korea Watch: United Nations Sanctions are a Declaration of WAR

Michael Ramirez on North Korean Appeasement

North Korea Watch: United States – A Return to 6-Party Talks is Insufficient

North Korea Watch: North Korea Wants 6-Party Talks to Continue

North Korea Watch: United Nations Imposes Arms Sanctions on North Korea

Michael Ramirez on China and North Korea

North Korea Watch: China and Russia Oppose United Nations Sanctions on Korea

North Korea Watch: New Poll – South Koreans Want Nuclear Weapons

North Korea Watch: China Reluctant to Support United Nations Sanctions

North Korea Nuclear Watch: North Korea Threatens War Against the United States

Michael Ramirez on Nuclear North Korea

North Korea Nuclear Watch: McCain vs. Clinton

North Korea Nuclear Watch: Kick North Korea Out of the United Nations?

North Korea Nuclear Watch: United States Proposes United Nations Sanctions Against North Korea


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