CSIS annual report worries about DPRK security threat

[Although we have not seen any of this in the Canadian press, this article by Lee Chi-dong appeared in Yonhap News Agency on 24 September 2012, and was reprinted by The Korea Times. –CanKor]

Canada ratcheting up pressure on N. Korea

Canada expressed worries Sunday over security risks from North Korea’s nuclear proliferation, the latest in a series of moves to put diplomatic pressure on the communist nation.

“North Korea’s nuclear proliferation has a destabilizing impact on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Canada has significant economic and strategic interests in this region that could be at risk from North Korea’s activities in this regard,” Canadian Security Intelligence Service said in an annual report on global security threats.

The agency noted North Korea, which conducted two nuclear tests in the past, operates a uranium enrichment program on top of “sufficient plutonium for a small arsenal of nuclear weapons.”

“North Korea has shown no inclination to ‘denuclearize,’ as called for by the international community and, moreover, has been proven willing to export its nuclear technology to states such as Syria,” it said.

Canada, a G-8 member, has not been directly involved in the six-way talks on North Korea’s nuclear program. But it has shown keen interest in the North Korea issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Secret US-DPRK Talks? Chris Nelson Deciphers Recent White House Comments

[A number of statements by US Administration officials in recent weeks have some experts wondering whether there are secret US-DPRK talks happening through back channels and what might be the contents of such talks. In the 24 May 2012 edition of the Nelson Report, Chris Nelson ponders the significance of comments by Ben Rhodes, US deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, as reported by Yonhap news agency. We reprint the Yonhap story below, followed by Chris Nelson’s commentary, with kind permission of the author. –CanKor]

WHAT’S UP WITH THE US AND DPRK? (by Chris Nelson)

That other major “war and peace” problem, N. Korea, also may be the subject of renewed discussions, at least… it seems very premature to talk about “negotiations”. We confirmed in Tuesday’s Report S. Korean and VOA accounts of a “secret” Administration mission to Pyongyang at the end of April, just prior to the failed ICBM/satellite launch.

(For current coverage in the ROK, see “U.S. Officials in Secret Visit to N. Korea Before Rocket Launch” in the English version of Chosun Ilbo.)

Yesterday, an official White House briefing, and then in Tokyo, State Dept. Special Envoy Glyn Davies, who was not on the mission, can be argued to have indirectly confirmed both the trip, and the purpose we had speculated in last night’s Report… that is, interest on both sides in trying to walk the situation back to the 2/29 agreement, including US food aid as a buy-in for resurrecting the agreement to freeze nuclear weapons and missile tests. Read the rest of this entry »

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