Posts Tagged ‘peace treaty’


Daily International News 01.27.10

January 27, 2010

Daily International News
January 27, 2010

@ London Conference
Clinton Seeks More Pressure on Iran
Nations Meet to Discuss Yemen
London meeting marks sea-change in Afghan approach

Toyota’s Woes in America Raise Concern in Japan

N. Korea steps up call for peace treaty amid seething border tension
Two Koreas trade fire; North shoots again [Reuters]
North Korea warns South of more artillery firing

Central Asia
NATO and Kazakhstan Reach Transit Pact for Afghanistan
UN Removes Five Taliban Officials from Blacklist
Holbrooke says US to back Taliban reintegration

S/SE Asia
Sri Lanka president wins historic re-election
>> Fonseka rejects Sri Lanka election win for Rajapaksa [BBC]
Malaysia arrests foreigners on terror charges
American pleads not guilty in Mumbai attack case

Middle East
U.S. military teams, intelligence deeply involved in aiding Yemen on strikes [WaPo]
Attacker hits Israeli chief justice with sneaker
Iran official: German diplomats involved in “riots”

Russia: Work on new arms treaty with U.S. nears end [Xinhua]
NATO, Russia boost military ties in Afghan war

Sudan’s ousted Sadiq al-Mahdi enters election race

Tourists paying $500 for Machu Picchu evacuation
[Times of London]
Haiti Halts Departures of Orphans
>> Haiti government begins delivering food [Miami Herald]
>> Haiti govt gets only 1 cent of every US aid dollar [AP]
New Honduran leader to take office, ending turmoil

ACORN “pimp” charged in alleged plot to wiretap Landrieu
TechBytes: Apple’s Big Announcement
Toyota suspends sales of eight US models [BBC]


POST: What to Expect from Stephen Bosworth’s Trip to the DPRK

December 8, 2009

This week, Stephen W. Bosworth goes to Pyongyang. As the highest US administration official to visit the once termed “hermit state” since Assistant Secretary Chris Hill visited  in October 2008, media speculation is running rampant. But what seems to be consistent in the calculated guesswork not only of the fourth estate as well as former administration officials, academics, and other North Korea watchers, are low expectations. “An immediate return to Six-Party Talks, complete denuclearization, and the singing of the angels” – this is not going to be the tag line of any forthcoming story on US-DPRK negotiations for some time. But, then, why is he going?

Although the tone of some in the international community and many pundits has been somber, agreement is also pervasive that when the North accepts an offer to meet and extends a formal invitation, one doesn’t put it at the bottom of the Holiday Party invite pile and move on. One accepts. For lack of a better option, we have to accept. This is due purely to the fact that no movement by either side during a meeting still allows both sides to shake hands, take some pictures, and appear to be moving towards some common goal. It’s likely to be mostly lip-service – but that’s okay, and here’s why.

This morning, in a briefing given to press at the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, former Bush Administration Special Envoy to North Korea Jack Pritchard laid out the impressions he and colleagues received in a recent trip to the DPRK. Other than the insight into North Korean daily life that we all enjoy and, dare I say it, crave, he also bluntly stated that he doesn’t expect a breakthrough during Ambassador Bosworth’s trip. The North, he stated, are reverting to their 2005 LWR (light water reactor) stalling tactic, this time citing the preemptive need for a US-DPRK peace treaty before returning to the Six-Party process. The headlines are almost identical – “US will only discuss LWR after NKorea rejoins nuclear treaty” from Sept. 19, 2005 mirrors “South Korea Wednesday questioned North Korea’s calls for a peace treaty with the United States, declaring its real aim is to buy time to make more nuclear weapons” from this morning.

These lackluster expectations are echoed by many previously involved in North Korea negotiations, including Georgetown Professor (woot!) and former Director for Asian Affairs at the NSC Victor Cha. In a interview with Politics-Pwn3d he stated that this trip is  “not likely to lead to any major breakthrough, but what it will be effective at doing is moving the Chinese” because only then will the US be able to go to them, after a failure to bring them back to talks and say, “All right, we did it.  Now, help us get ‘em back to the Six Party Talks.” In a nutshell, his trip is “a good way of demonstrating U.S. leadership, U.S. initiative, U.S. political commitment, to the talks and the negotiations, but it’s also a good way of getting the Chinese to work a little harder.”

This is an old tactic and the administration knows it. In the daily briefing to press at the State Department this afternoon, Asst. Sec. PJ Crowley stated that “we have a fairly good understanding of how North Korea operates in these kinds of settings. It’s unlikely their response will be, ‘yeah, we’ll meet you a week from Tuesday.'” He also acknowledged that the administration would not be surprised if superfluous issues came up during the Bosworth talks, but continued to state that these issues would and could be dealt with at a later date.

So what now? Well, due to North Korean being “the dark side of the moon” as Mr. Crowley characterized today, contact with Bosworth will be extremely limited until Thursday, when he is (planned to) fly back to Seoul via Beijing where he will address awaiting press. Most envision future consultations and much stalemating by the North before any decisions are made on the future of the Six-Party process and, hand-in-hand, US-DPRK relations. But this is okay. Both sides are sitting down at the table and after the disastrous Hill visits of the ‘noughties’ and the North’s nuclear test this year, not much can be worse.