US-DPRK Deal: Instant Reaction

Only a couple of months after his ascension, Kim Jong Un and AssociatesTM have managed to wrangle a preliminary deal with the Americans.  In exchange for 240,000 tons of aid, the North Koreans have agreed to stop testing nukes and ballistic missiles, halt uranium enrichment, and allow the IAEA back into Yongbyon. Judging from what the 240,000 tons will do to North Korea’s food deficit, not too shabby. After all, the North Koreans haven’t exactly given up anything – they’ve just agreed to stop what they’ve been doing. 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 »

Results of DPRK-USA Talks as Announced by the DPRK Foreign Ministry

[This is the text published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, 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 US statement makes no mention of the 6-Party Talks, nor of the “priority” of discussing the lifting of sanctions and the provision of light water reactors. Nevertheless, the main features of the agreements, relating to the nuclear and missile moratorium and the provision of nutritional assistance, are virtually the same. –CanKor]

The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Wednesday gave the following answer as regards questions raised by KCNA concerning the result of the latest DPRK-U.S. high-level talks:

A paramilitary policeman stands guard in front of the North Korean embassy ahead of bilateral talks between North Korea and the U.S., in Beijing February 23, 2012. (Photo: Reuters, Jason Lee)

Delegations of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States of America (U.S.) met in Beijing, China on 23rd and 24th of February for the third round of the high-level talks between the DPRK and the U.S.

Present at the talks were the delegation of the DPRK headed by Kim Kye Gwan, the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the delegation of the U.S. headed by Glyn Davies, the Special Representative of the State Department for the DPRK Policy.

The talks, continuation of the two previous DPRK-U.S. high-level talks held respectively in July and October, 2011, offered a venue for sincere and in-depth discussion of issues concerning the measures aimed at building confidence for the improvement of relations between the DPRK and the U.S. as well as issues related with ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and resumption of the six-party talks. 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, 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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