Posts Tagged ‘stephen bosworth’

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Daily International News 12.16.09

December 16, 2009

Daily International News
December 16, 2009

DPRK
AP source: Obama writes letter to NKorean leader [AP]
“Washington’s recent bid to persuade North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament negotiations included a personal letter to leader Kim Jong Il written by President Barack Obama, a senior U.S. official said.”

Thailand prepares to destroy N.Korean weapons haul [Global Times]
“The Thai government said Tuesday it would ask the UN for money to destroy a cache of sanctions-busting weapons seized from a plane that took off from North Korea.”

N. Korea’s nominal leader meets with U.S. businessmen [Yonhap]
“North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, held talks with a group of visiting U.S. businessmen in Pyongyang on Wednesday, state media said.”

N.K. told Bosworth that U.N. sanctions are unreasonable: Seoul FM [Yonhap]
“North Korea apparently told a visiting U.S. envoy that international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its long-range rocket launch were unreasonable, insisting the launch was for non-military purposes, Seoul’s top diplomat said Wednesday.”

East Asia
Japan can meet deadline for relocating U.S. base in Okinawa: Hatoyama [Kyodo]
“PM Hatoyama said Wednesday that Japan can still meet the 2014 deadline for relocating a U.S. military base in Okinawa despite the government putting off a decision on the issue and deciding to seek an alternative site to the one previously agreed.”

Japan enters high-speed train sales race [AP]
“JR Central, one of the operators created when Japan privatized its railways in 1987, is leading the charge in the U.S., but is also taking a risky winner-takes-all approach.”

Nuclear Power Expansion in China Stirs Concerns [NYT]
China is preparing to build three times as many nuclear power plants in the coming decade as the rest of the world combined, a breakneck pace with the potential to help slow global warming.”

China begins work on world’s longest cross-sea bridge [BBC]
“China has begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province, China’s main manufacturing hub, with Hong Kong and Macau.”

S/SE Asia
Philippines arrests alleged militant wanted by US
[WP]
“Latip has been charged in the United States with the 1993 kidnapping of linguist and Christian missionary Charles Walton by the Abu Sayyaf militant group on a southern Philippine island, Diaz said.”

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi in rare talks with party elders [AFP]
“Myanmar’s junta allowed detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to meet with three elderly senior members of her party Wednesday in a rare concession by the military regime.”

Middle East
Iran missile test draws Western condemnation
[Reuters]
“The United States said the launch of a Sejil 2 missile, with a reported range that would put the Jewish state and U.S. Gulf bases within reach, undermined Iran’s insistence of peaceful intentions and would be looked upon seriously by the world.” [Press TV Iran tests new Sejjil-2 missile with success]

House votes to expand sanctions on Iran [AP]
“The legislation, approved 412-12, would end access to U.S. markets for foreign companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran or helping that country develop its petroleum capacity.”

PLO keeps Abbas as Palestinian president [Reuters]
“PLO Central Council members said Abbas, whose tenure ends on January 25, will remain in his post until elections can be held, extending until further notice the term of the Western-backed leader who heads the Ramallah-based PA.”

Abbas says peace deal possible in 6 months [AP]
“A comprehensive peace deal can be reached between Israel and the Palestinians within six months if Israel completely freezes its settlement construction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published Wednesday.”

Europe
British premier says Livni welcome
[AP]
“Livni’s office says the British premier phoned her Wednesday afternoon and said he intends to act to change a law that allows non-citizens to be brought before British courts.”

Man Arrested Trying to Enter Berlusconi’s Hospital Room [NYT]
“Three days after an attack…PM Silvio Berlusconi was at the center of another bizarre episode Wednesday when police arrested a man who entered the hospital where he is being treated at around 2 a.m., ostensibly to talk to him.”

Americas
Calderón Proposes Ballot-Law Overhaul
[WSJ]
“The proposals, which have to pass the opposition-dominated Congress, would establish a 2nd-round vote for presidential elections, cut the number of seats in Congress and allow federal lawmakers and local officials to be re-elected.”

START
US and Russia close in on nuclear treaty
[Guardian]
“Obama and Medvedev could sign agreement on nuclear arms reduction on margins of Copenhagen summit this week.”

Copenhagen
Climate Talks Near Deal to Save Forests
[NYT]
“The agreement for the program, if signed as expected, may turn out to be the most significant achievement to come out of the Copenhagen climate talks.”

Police hold 230 as climate protesters storm barricades [Reuters]
“Danish police detained 230 people on Wednesday as protesters stormed barricades around a global climate summit and a handful briefly broke through, witnesses and a police spokesman said.”

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Daily International News 12.14.09

December 14, 2009

Daily International News
December 14, 2009

Copenhagen
Talks Stall as Poorer Nations Threaten to Walk Out
[NYT]

“Jairam Ramesh, the chief negotiator for India, said that the Group of 77 developing countries had staged the temporary walkout because their representatives had grown frustrated with how conference leaders had been conducting negotiations.”

DPRK
U.S. envoy says no timetable yet for North Korea talks
[Reuters]
“The U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Monday no timetable had been set for talks on nuclear disarmament with the isolated state to resume.”

Delegation of American Businessmen Here [KCNA]
“A delegation of U.S. businessmen headed by General Charles Boyd, president and CEO of the “BENS” (Business Executives for National Security), arrived here by air on Monday.”

Thailand to Hold Crew That Was Transporting Weapons [NYT]
“Five crew members of an aircraft carrying weapons from North Korea were denied bail here Monday and ordered held for at least 12 days while the police investigate the origin and destination of the mysterious shipment of arms.”

S. Korean nuke envoy to visit Russia this week [Yonhap]
“Wi Sung-lac, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will visit Russia from Dec. 16 till Dec. 19,” ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.”

China
Chinese, Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek presidents unveil gas pipeline
[China Daily]
“With their hands on wheel of valves, President Hu and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Islam Karimov turned on the flow of natural gas together in the gas plant on the right bank of the AmuDarya River.”

Burma
U.N. Says Opium Trade Is Expanding in Myanmar
[NYT]
“The United Nations warned on Monday that drug control measures were “unraveling” in Myanmar with opium farming in the country expanding for the third consecutive year.”

AfPak
Pakistan Bars Deportation of Detained Americans
[NYT]
“Five Muslim American men arrested in Pakistan last week cannot be deported to the United States until their case is reviewed, a Pakistani judge here ruled Monday.”

16 Afghan Police Killed In Taliban Attacks [Quqnoos]
“At least 16 Afghan policemen have been killed in two attacks on checkpoints in Afghanistan’s north and south.”

Middle East
Detained Americans to Be Tried in Iran: Minister
[ABC]
“Three U.S. citizens detained in Iran and charged with espionage will stand trial, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday.”

Abu Dhabi rescues Dubai with $10-billion bailout [LAT]
“Abu Dhabi rescued debt-ridden Dubai today with a $10-billion bailout package that lifted world financial markets but left unclear how the glittering emirate by the sea would recover from nervous investors and a troubled real estate market.”

Taiwan probes reports of nuclear-linked sales to Iran [Reuters]
“The Economic Ministry’s Import and Export Administration pledged the investigation due in part to a report in the London Daily Telegraph that said Iran had set up a nuclear-equipment smuggling network using Taiwan companies.”

From 12/13 Washington ‘rejects Iran uranium swap offer’ [Press TV]

From 12/12 Iran offers to swap 400 kilos of LEU on Kish for atomic fuel [AFP] “We are ready to continue dialogue with the permanent-five-plus-one,” Mottaki said.”

Europe
Silvio Berlusconi recovering after Milan statue attack
[Guardian]
“The Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will stay in hospital for at least one more day after being hit in the face when a statuette of Milan cathedral was thrown at him during a political rally yesterday.”

EU Calls for Tax on Global Financial Transactions [Der Spiegel]
“European Union leaders are calling for a new tax on global financial transactions as protection against a future financial crisis. But the idea has little chance against US opposition.”

Americas
Piñera Wins Plurality in Chile Vote, Will Face Frei in Runoff
[Latin American Herald Tribune]
“Rightist candidate Sebastian Piñera won a plurality in the Chilean presidential election on Sunday, and now will face off in a runoff with former President Eduardo Frei.”

Domestic
Obama to take bankers to task over lending, reforms
[Reuters]
“Obama, who has complained about “fat cat bankers” taking big bonuses, will use the meeting to press the firms to expand their lending to small businesses and to stop trying to thwart legislation to overhaul the financial regulatory system.”

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Daily International News 12.11.09

December 11, 2009

Daily International News
December 11, 2009

DPRK
N.K., U.S. positive about recent talks: KCNA
[Yonhap]
“North Korea said Friday that direct talks with the U.S. got off to a good start and that the two sides would continue efforts to narrow their differences over the resumption of the stalled six-party nuclear talks.” 

Japan
Futenma issue on hold at COP15
[Asahi]
“Prospects are dim for a summit meeting between Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the relocation of a Marine Corps airstrip in Okinawa’s Ginowan city anytime soon, government officials said.”

China
Nation rolls out steel tax on US
[China Daily]
“The Ministry of Commerce said Thursday on its website that US and Russian steelmakers must pay anti-dumping duties as high as 25 percent beginning today.”

China Indicts Prominent Dissident [NYT]
“Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s best-known dissidents and a principal author of a pro-democracy manifesto that has attracted more than 10,000 signatures from Chinese supporters, was indicted Thursday on charges of trying to subvert the state.”

Hundreds of China workers clash over factory site [Reuters]
“Twenty-six people were wounded when more than 300 Chinese workers battling for control of a factory site in Guangdong province clashed with explosives, rocks and steel pipes.”

Security on alert for island talks [China Daily]
“Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will hold their discussions from Dec 21-25 in the island city of Taichung.”

International Institutions
U.N. Afghan Mission Chief to Resign
[NYT]
“A United Nations spokesman, Dan McNorton, said in a statement that Mr. Eide’s “intention not to renew his contract” was in keeping with his plan when he took the job to stay for about two years.”

EU agrees climate pledge that may boost Copenhagen [BBC]
“EU leaders have agreed to pay 7.2bn euros (£6.5bn; $10.6bn) over the next three years to help developing nations adapt to climate change.” [WSJ Coverage – U.N. Draft Agreement Seeks to Halve CO2 Emissions By 2050]

Chinese official calls US negotiator irresponsible
[AP]
“In unusually blunt language, He said…”I don’t want to say the gentleman is ignorant…I think he lacks common sense where he made such a comment vis-a-vis funds for China. Either lack of common sense or extremely irresponsible.” [And China Daily – China refuted the idea of G2 in climate change]

AfPaK
US official: Pakistan expected to deport US youths
[AP]
“The official confirmed that U.S. diplomats in Pakistan visited the detainees on Friday for a second time…There was no immediate indication when the five might be returned to the United States.”

Middle East
Gates Expects New Sanctions on Iran
[NYT]
“I think you’re going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community,” Mr. Gates said during a question-and-answer session with American troops in Kirkuk.”

Fire attack on West Bank mosque [BBC]
“Attackers set fire to bookshelves and a large area of carpet in the mosque, and sprayed graffiti in Hebrew on a wall.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah appoints former aide as new PM [BBC]
“Samir al-Rifai will form a new cabinet in order to push through reforms that the king says are vital for Jordan’s economy before elections due next year. In November King Abdullah dissolved the parliament halfway through its four-year term.”

Europe
Romania’s court orders void votes re-examined
[WP]
“Losing candidate Mircea Geoana says his Social Democratic Party has evidence of ballot stuffing, multiple voting and widespread vote-buying, and has asked for new elections to be held.”

Russian policeman gets 2 years for killing reporter [Reuters]
“A policeman in Russia’s turbulent Ingushetia region was sentenced on Friday to two years in a low-security prison settlement for “unintentionally” shooting dead a prominent opposition reporter while in custody.”

Mafia boss denies link to Berlusconi associate [Reuters]
“A jailed Mafia boss told an Italian court on Friday he had never had ties with a close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, casting doubt on evidence from another mobster linking the prime minister to Cosa Nostra.”

Americas
Mercosur Refuses to Recognize Honduras Elections
[Latin American Herald Tribune]
“The presidents of the Mercosur trade bloc nations expressed their…“full non-recognition” of the new government that emerged from the Nov. 29 elections that Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and the US are supporting.”

Zelaya will leave Brazil Embassy by Jan. 27 [AP]
“Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya says he will leave the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras by Jan. 27, when his presidential term ends, according to an interview broadcast Friday.”

Domestic
Goldman scraps cash bonuses for 30 top executives
[FT]
“The 30 members of Goldman’s management committee will receive their entire 2009 bonus in stock awards that must be held for five years.”

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Daily International News 12.10.09

December 10, 2009

Daily International News
December 10, 2009

Japan/China
Japan PM prods China ahead of visit by leader
[Reuters]
“Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Thursday urged China to make progress on democracy, just as China announced a rising leader will visit Japan in a sign of deepening ties between the two biggest Asian powers.”

DPRK
N. Korea agrees on need for six-way nuke talks: Bosworth
[Yonhap]
“North Korea and the United States have reached a “common understanding” on the need to resume the six-party nuclear talks and implement a 2005 historic deal on the North’s denuclearization, a senior U.S. envoy said Thursday after a three-day trip there.”

Clinton says NKorea-US talks are ‘positive’ [AFP]
“For a preliminary meeting, it was quite positive,” Clinton told reporters after US envoy Stephen Bosworth left Pyongyang saying both sides agreed on the need to resume the negotiations but without setting a date for them.”

Nobel
War president addresses incongruity of accepting peace prize
[WP]
“In his acceptance speech, Obama directly confronted the seeming paradox of receiving the prestigious peace prize while serving as a war president. In trying to pursue both security and peace, he said, “war is sometimes necessary.”

Obama’s Nobel snub angers Norwegians [Guardian]
“The White House has cancelled many of the events peace prize laureates traditionally submit to, including a dinner with the Norwegian Nobel committee, a press conference, a television interview, [and] a lunch invitation from the King.”

Copenhagen
Walkout Threat Over ‘Danish Text’
[AllAfrica]
“DEVELOPING states at the United Nations (UN) climate change conference, including SA, were unanimous yesterday in condemning the “Danish text.”

Europe
Russian missile test launch fails
[BBC]
“A Russian test launch of an intercontinental missile has failed, resulting in a white light seen over parts of Norway.”

Abortion pill gets final approval in Italy [BBC]
“Unlike in other European countries, the pill, also known as mifepristone, will be administered solely in hospitals.”

Middle East
Thousands in Jerusalem protest settlement freeze
[Reuters]
“The demonstration, which generally went off without incident, was the first major gathering in several years of settlers to protest an Israeli government’s actions to suspend settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.”

Iraq PM orders security reshuffle [Al Jazeera]
“Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, has reshuffled the leadership of the country’s security forces, in the wake of a series of deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad.”

Iraq’s March vote won’t affect troop plan, U.S. says [Reuters]
“U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates met Iraqi leaders on Thursday as U.S. commanders said plans to reduce troop levels sharply by next summer were on track despite delayed elections and a major al Qaeda attack.”

Iran may face new U.N. sanctions – U.S., UK, France [Reuters]
“If it continues to refuse the slightest confidence measures, to refuse dialogue, transparency … we must draw all of the necessary conclusions and that means that we must move on to a new resolution involving sanctions,” French Ambassador to the U.N. Gerard Araud told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran.”

India/AfPak
Petraeus sees short-term rise in Afghan violence
[Reuters]
“Violence in Afghanistan and turmoil within the Karzai government are likely to rise in the short term, General David Petraeus said on Wednesday.”

Andhra MLAs resign protesting Telangana creation decision [Times of India]
“Andhra Pradesh plunged into a fresh political crisis on Thursday with 60 MLAs…resigning in protest against the Centre’s decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.”

Africa
Mugabe backers raped opponents in election – report
[Reuters]
“AIDS-Free World said the 64-page report — entitled “Electing to Rape” — is based on interviews with 72 survivors and witnesses, and documents 380 rapes committed by 241 perpetrators across Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces.”

Americas
Fate of Ex-Honduran Leader Is in Doubt
[NYT]
“A plan for the ousted Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, to leave the country for Mexico ran aground late Wednesday when negotiations over his safe passage fell apart, the leader and the Mexican authorities said.”

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Daily International News 12.09.09

December 9, 2009

Daily International News
December 9, 2009

Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s political science
[WP]
Op-ed by Sarah Palin – “The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.”

Climate Conference Begins to Feel Pressure of the Clock [NYT]
“Two proposals popped loudly on Tuesday: a Danish text, seen by many observers to be mainly accommodating the interests of the United States and other industrialized powers; and one drafted by China and endorsed by a variety of developing countries. Both were criticized by the opposing camps.”

Japan
Japan to Give U.S. a Plan on Air Base
[NYT]
“Japan’s prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, said Wednesday that he wants to present concrete proposals [on Futenma] to President Obama next week… Mr. Hatoyama said he may seek a meeting with Mr. Obama during the climate change conference in Copenhagen to relay the proposals directly to him.”

DPRK
Lock-down as high-level talks start on N. Korea
[CNN]
“A U.S. State Department official said Bosworth would not carry any new proposals or new initiatives on his visit.”

US assures NKorea of ‘robust’ direct talks channel [AP]
“U.S. officials say a peace treaty is not on the agenda for Bosworth’s trip to the North. However, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that it “would not surprise us” if the North raised other issues.”

China
China moves to indict top dissident for subversion
[AP]
“Police have finally presented a case against prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has been jailed for a year without charge after helping produce a high-profile manifesto calling for sweeping democratic reforms in China.”

Burma
Myanmar junta calls detained Suu Kyi “dishonest”
[Reuters]
“Suu Kyi, who is held under house arrest, had tried to harm the government’s image and her behaviour had been “highly questionable,” said a commentary carried in three state-run newspapers, which serve as mouthpieces for the reclusive regime.”

India/AfPak
5 Americans detained in Pakistan; no reason given
[AP]
“A U.S. Embassy spokesman said officials there were aware of the reported arrests, but had no more information.”

Afghanistan will need U.S. help for 15 to 20 years, Karzai says [LAT]
“Gates did not take issue with Karzai’s timeline, but he said he hoped that the Afghan military could be ready sooner. Gates emphasized that a U.S. withdrawal would begin in 2011, as outlined by President Obama in his order last week to deploy an additional 30,000 troops. But Gates said the drawdown would be a process lasting several years as Afghan forces took responsibility.”

Two Top Aides Show Unity on Afghan Strategy [NYT]
“[McChrystal] He was joined by Karl W. Eikenberry, the United States ambassador to Afghanistan, who was much more skeptical during the plan’s formulation, and who conceded Tuesday that success could not be guaranteed.”

Violent protests shut down high-tech Indian city [WP]
“Violent protests by students for a separate state to be carved out of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh shut down the main city of Hyderabad on Wednesday.”

‘Amnesty helped Zardari make billions’ [Times of India]
“The documents provided by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) showed that Zardari had been accused of illegally amassing assets worth USD 1.5 billion and Rs 22 billion, mainly during the period when his slain wife Benazir Bhutto was the Premier in the 1990s.”

Middle East
Israel gives initial OK to Jerusalem referendum
[AP]
“Israel’s parliament has given preliminary approval to a piece of legislation that would require a national referendum on any peace deal that gives up control of east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. If approved, the law could constrain the ability of any future Israeli government to turn over captured land as part of a peace deal.”

Iran says will show no mercy to opposition protesters [WP]
“From now on, we will show no mercy toward anyone who acts against national security. They will be confronted firmly,” said prosecutor Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei.”

Europe
UK slaps tax on bankers’ bonuses ahead of election
[AP]
“The British government slapped a one-time tax of 50 percent on fat bank bonuses as it tried to win over voters ahead of a looming general election.”

Darling raises National Insurance in pre-Budget report [BBC]
“National Insurance will go up by a further 0.5p from 2011 and public sector workers face a 1% pay cap, Alistair Darling has announced.”

Ireland’s abortion law challenged in European court [BBC]
“The legal action has been brought by three Irish women who say the effective ban on abortion in Ireland violates the European Convention on Human Rights…The case is the first challenge to Ireland’s abortion laws in more than 15 years.”

Terror charges for man in Germany over US targets [WP]
“The 24-year-old, identified only as Kadir T. in line with German privacy laws, was charged with supporting a foreign terrorist organization and violating export laws, federal prosecutors said.”

Americas
Honduran Anti-Drug Chief Is Killed
[WSJ]
“The victim is retired Gen. Julian Aristides Gonzalez, the general director of the Office for Combatting Drug Trafficking.”

Peru army plans arms purchase, tests Chinese tanks [AP]
“The Lima newspaper La Republica reported that it plans to buy 80 to 120 tanks and has evaluated Chinese, German, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish models….Peru President Alan Garcia has pushed for a disarmament pact in South America as weapons purchases in Venezuela, Brazil and Chile and a U.S. military expansion in Colombia fuels a budding arms race.”

Domestic
Democrats reach deal on health bill
[WP]
“Senate Democratic healthcare negotiators said they agreed on Tuesday to replace a government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan and would seek cost estimates on the deal.”

A Jobs Speech with Elbows [Time]
Op-ed on Obama jobs speech – “The President gave a terrific economic speech today, proposing some new jobs-creating initiatives.”

Coakley, Brown to Battle in Massachusetts U.S. Senate Election [Bloomberg]
“The winner between Coakley, 56, and Brown, 50, in a Jan. 19 special election will serve the rest of Kennedy’s term, ending in January 2013.”

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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.

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Daily International News 11.06.09

November 6, 2009

North Korea

Bosworth says he will visit Pyongyang by year-end [Yonhap]
“He added that the U.S. government would make a decision “soon,” suggesting that he could visit Pyongyang “within a few weeks.”

U.S. still mulling bilateral high-level talks with N. Korea: White House [Yonhap]
“The remarks come a day after Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, said Thursday that he expects the U.S. government will “soon” make a decision on his trip to Pyongyang, possibly “within a few weeks.”
China

US slaps tariffs on Chinese steel imports [SMH]
“The US imposed duties of as much as 99 per cent on steel pipes from China after American producers led by US Steel Corp. complained they were being dumped at below-market prices. China’s government protested.”

 

Burma

Burmese army targets India rebels [BBC]
“They said Indian troops have fanned out in the hills opposite this base in Sagaing to arrest any rebels who may try to flee into Indian territory.”

 

Middle East

Israel keen on Abbas staying in office: reports [AFP]
“A senior Israeli official told AFP that hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees Abbas “as a partner for peace.”
“We would like to start negotiations as soon as possible with the moderate Palestinian leadership,” he said, requesting anonymity.”

Saudi: Airstrikes near Yemen targeted infiltrators [AP]

 

Europe

Gordon Brown threatens to end Afghan mission unless corruption is tackled [UK]
“In a clear policy shift, the Prime Minister cautioned President Karzai that unless he quashes endemic corruption he will have “forfeited” his right to international support.”

 

Americas

Zelaya: US-brokered pact for Honduran crisis fails [AP]
“”The accord is dead,” Zelaya told Radio Globo from the Brazilian Embassy where he has been holed up under threat of arrest. “There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans.”
SNAP ANALYSIS: Honduras pact collapse puts election at risk
[Reuters]