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The Daily North Korea, North Korea

North Korean Regime Plays Nuclear Hardball with Obama


"Even in one hundred years, we won’t lay down our nuclear weapons first - not without the total abolition of U.S. nuclear weapons. The only way to resolve this issue is to hold nuclear disarmament talks with all nuclear states."


--North Korean Foreign Ministry


By Jeong Jae Sung


January 15, 2009


South Korea - The Daily North Korea - Original Article (English)

Senator Hillary Clinton: Tough, well-informed, and likely the next American secretary of state, at confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jan. 13. North Korea is unlikely to get any freebees from her or her boss, President-elect Barack Obama.


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A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson has reiterated Pyongyang's position on the order of events leading to a normalization of U.S.-North Korea relations and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, including the issue of verification.


In a statement on January 13th, Pyongyang labeled its doctrine as "Normalization First, Denuclearization Later." According to the North, the United States and North Korea must achieve denuclearization through disarmament talks after - not before - the complete normalization of relations.


Pyongyang is again emphasizing that it has developed a nuclear program to confront America's nuclear threat and its hostile policies toward North Korea. This is the same claim made at the time of the second North Korean nuclear crisis in 2002.


The statement appears to be part of the Pyongyang regime's plan for confronting the incoming Obama Administration as a "nuclear state."


The statement says in part, "Even in one hundred years, we won’t lay down our nuclear weapons first - not without the total abolition of U.S. nuclear weapons. The only way to resolve this issue is to hold nuclear disarmament talks with all nuclear states."


Yoon Duk-min, professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Security, explained that, "This claim has evolved from the logic used during the second North Korean nuclear crisis." According to Professor Yoon, at that time, North Korea insists that the reason it has developed nuclear weapons was to confront the hostile policies of the United States. North Korea undertook its first nuclear test after the Bush Administration brought up the possibility of negotiating a peace agreement [settling the Korean War]. By holding a nuclear test, North Korea meant to assert that denuclearization isn't possible simply through signing a peace agreement, but only through a complete normalization of relations.


Park Young-ho, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said "The logic of North Korea's position is that it had no choice but to develop a nuclear program. North Korea is presenting this position now in order to obtain a normalization of relations with the incoming Obama Administration and to initiate disarmament talks that would address the military forces of both countries."



In regard to verification issue, the statement reconfirmed the North’s existing claim that simultaneous inspections of North and South Korean facilities should be carried out, in order to accomplish denuclearization on the Chosun (Korean) Peninsula.


Pyongyang demands a free approach to all sites so that the arrangement and travel routes of American nuclear weapons in South Korea could be confirmed, and the preparation of a verification procedure by which North Korea would inspect the rearrangement or passage of nuclear weapons along those routes.


This is just what the United States asked of North Korea during verification negotiations at the Six Party Talks: free approach and sampling at undeclared sites.


However, "normalization first and denuclearization later" doesn't seem acceptable to the Obama Administration.


At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the 13th, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton said, "We have got to end North Korea as a proliferator ... we will embark upon a very aggressive effort to try to determine the best way forward to achieve our objectives with them ."



Park Young-ho predicts, "It may be difficult to find a solution, even if nuclear talks resume after the inauguration of Obama. North Korea may hold on aggressively to the tit-for-tat strategy it has employed up to now."


However, he said, "According to the goals of the Obama camp, 'a nuclear-free world,' the U.S. is unlikely to make concessions to North Korea while Pyongyang seeks to win recognition as a nuclear state."


Professor Yoon noted that, "North Korea is attempting to gain advantage by releasing this statement during the momentary lull before the Obama Administration settles on its North Korea policy. The U.S. will not agree to friendly relations with North Korea while Pyongyang continues to possess nuclear weapons."






































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 18, 4:15pm]