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Shocker: Talks With N Korea Are Deadlocked

From a shocked and amazed Associated Press:

North Korean envoy Kim Kye-gwan (L), U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill (R) and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo (C) attend a banquet in Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse after the second day of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program December 19, 2006.

North Korea nuclear talks deadlocked

Dec. 21, 2006

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press Writer

BEIJING — Talks on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear arms program are deadlocked with no sign of progress, Japan’s envoy said Thursday, citing the North’s refusal to abandon its demand that the U.S. lift financial restrictions.

The chief U.S. negotiator acknowledged the North Korean delegation refused to address anything beyond the financial issue, apparently instructed from their superiors to resolve that before talking about nuclear weapons.

"We were hoping to make more progress than we made," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said Thursday evening.

While insisting the financial restrictions were a separate issue from the arms talks, he acknowledged they were a means to protect against nuclear proliferation.

"We need to protect ourselves in a variety of different ways and we need to make sure that the international financial system is not easily available to countries that are involved in nuclear weapons programs," Hill said.

"There’s one thing that anyone involved in denuclearization can predict, that as long as (the North Koreans) stay in this nuclear business, they’re going to have more and more and more financial problems," he said.

The Japanese envoy, Kenichiro Sasae, said the North’s refusal to address its disarmament was "extremely regrettable," and that one-on-one meetings between the U.S. and the reclusive communist nation have not changed the "confrontational" nature of the dialogue.

"The situation remains severe and there is no prospect for a breakthrough," Sasae said after the fourth day of six-nation talks in Beijing. "North Korea’s claims and its position on financial issues are very firm and that is the biggest cause of the difficulty."

North Korean officials are still angry about Washington’s blacklisting of a Macau bank in 2005 for its complicity in North Korea’s alleged illegal financial activity, including money laundering and counterfeiting U.S. currency.

Communist officials have made the lifting of U.S. financial restrictions its main condition for abandoning its nuclear weapons program. The North agreed to end a 13-month boycott of the six-nation nuclear talks because the U.S. promised to discuss the issue.

"North Korea has not sincerely responded" to pleas for implementing a September 2005 agreement in which the country pledged to abandon its nuclear program for aid and security guarantees, the Japanese envoy said.

"China is making efforts through repeated separate discussions with the United States and North Korea, but at this moment, there is absolutely no landing point in sight," he said.

American and North Korean experts discussed the financial restrictions for two days this week in Beijing in separate talks, but made no breakthroughs. They may meet again next month in New York.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons because of Washington’s "hostile" policy toward Pyongyang’s communist regime, citing the United States’ financial sanctions, criticism of North Korea’s human rights record and joint military exercises with South Korea.

North Korea will not consider U.S. offers of a written security guarantee and economic aid as "real proof of the U.S. withdrawing its hostile policy," Japan-based Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper, reported Thursday, citing diplomatic sources at the negotiations. Instead, the North said the financial restrictions must be lifted to prove the U.S. has changed its stance.

The talks — including China, Japan, Russia, the U.S. and the two Koreas — are to continue until at least Friday. Hill said he planned to leave Saturday for Washington.

Meanwhile, a South Korean lawmaker said Thursday there were signs North Korea could conduct a second nuclear test.

Rep. Chung Hyung-keun of the main opposition Grand National Party, a former intelligence official, said North Korea dug two tunnels in a mountain in the country’s northeast and used one of them for its earlier nuclear test.

"There has been brisk activity since this month" at the other tunnel, he said.

It’s almost as if there is a pattern here.

The America-haters, including the DNC and their handmaidens in the media, insist that we negotiate with our adversaries. We try to. The talks stall and are broken off by said adversaries. Then the cries for new negotiations start up again.

And the self-same media feigns surprise at every step along this well-worn path.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 21st, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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