North Korea ‘delights’ in provoking: Harper

[The following is an article by Jessica Murphy,  QMI Agency, dated 27 March 2012. –CanKor]

Baird visits Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

Foreign Minister Baird visits Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

North Korea “delights” in ruffling the feathers of its critics, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday.

Harper was in South Korea attending a 53-nation summit aimed at boosting global efforts to improve nuclear security – not dealing with the nuclear programs of rogue states.

But with North Korea about 50 kilometres from the summit site and threatening to launch a rocket next month, it was inevitable the regime’s plans would become a factor.”I think there is a virtually universal assessment here – that Canada would share – that the recent actions by North Korea and launching the satellite are a contravention of UN resolutions,” Harper told reporters.

“We would obviously attempt to encourage them, dissuade them from any such action. Although as you know, unfortunately this regime seems to delight in irritating the international community.”

On Tuesday, a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, paid a visit to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Read the rest of this entry »

DPRK Foreign Ministry: Kwangmyongsong-3 Ready to Launch

[CanKor received the following letter directly from the Pyongyang-based Korean Committee of Solidarity with the World’s People. Images have been added from open Internet sources. We reproduce the letter in full without further comment. –CanKor]

Dear friends,

Warm greetings from Pyongyang!

A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry released the following statement Friday on the entry of DPRK’s preparations for launching Kwangmyongsong-3 into a full-fledged stage of action:

The DPRK’s preparations for launching Kwangmyongsong-3, an earth observation satellite, by its own efforts and with its indigenous technology have entered a full-fledged stage of action.

The projected launch of the working satellite is a gift to be presented by the Korean people to the centenary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung while entering the gate to a thriving nation and a work for implementing the behest of leader Kim Jong Il.

It has become a law-governed requirement of the age of latest science and technology and a worldwide trend to launch and use a working satellite urgently needed for the country’s economic development. Read the rest of this entry »

Results of USA-DPRK Talks as Announced by the US Department of State

[This is the text of a Press Statement delivered by, Victoria Nuland, US State Department Spokesperson, in Washington, DC, 29 February 2012. It is obvious that announcement of the  agreements had been synchronized by the two sides to be issued at the same time. The exact wording and emphasis differ in the two versions. For example, the DPRK nuclear moratorium and inspections by the IAEA, take priority in the US statement, whereas in the DPRK statement they are mentioned as an afterthought, specifying that the US side had asked for them. Note also that the wording of the DPRK announcement speaks of “promises and agreements” on the part of the USA, whereas the US statement reserves the word “agree” to concessions by the DPRK, with the USA agreeing only to meet again. The specifics are listed as “points flowing from the discussions”. Nevertheless, the main features of the agreements are virtually the same. –CanKor]

US scientist Siegfried Hecker examines machining lathes at the disabled Yongbyon nuclear facility, 2008 (Photo by W. Keith Luse)

A U.S. delegation has just returned from Beijing following a third exploratory round of U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks. To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities. The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities.

The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these. We have agreed to meet with the DPRK to finalize administrative details necessary to move forward with our proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance along with the intensive monitoring required for the delivery of such assistance. Read the rest of this entry »

38 North: Dealing with the Kims by Joel Wit & Jenny Town

[From time to time CanKor alerts readers to papers published by our partner-site 38North. The following article is authored by Joel Wit and Jenny Town. This article originally appeared on www.foreignpolicy.com, and has been reprinted with permission. The original can be found here. Please follow our link to this article on the 38North site. –CanKor]

This week’s meeting between U.S. Special Envoy Glyn Davies and North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan will be the first official encounter between the United States and North Korea since the death of Kim Jong Il two months ago. After endless speculation by the press and experts about the future of North Korea, this meeting will be an important reality check: an opportunity to take the pulse of the new management in Pyongyang, and particularly to discern changes or continuity in its efforts to build weapons of mass destruction.

Even on a good day, of course, we underestimate the difficulties of dealing with North Korea at our peril. Korea specialists are fond of calling it the “land of no good options” (although that is probably true for many foreign-policy challenges facing the United States today). The North remains the poster child for rogue states because of 60 years of bad behavior, including its more recent nuclear and missile tests in 2006 and 2009 and conventional military attacks on South Korea in 2010. If there is anyone who knows that, it’s those of us who have had direct experience dealing with North Koreans at the negotiating table, on the ground, or conducting any other business face-to-face with them. Read the rest of this entry »

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