Eventual Abandonment of North Korea's Nuclear Program Counts on the Implementation of 2·13 Initial Actions
- 2007.02.15 (00:00:00)
The Negotiation over Abolishing Military Tensions Beyond Abandonment of Nuclear Weapons should be followed
The six nations participating in the Six-Party Talks adopted 'Initial Actions for Implementing 9·19 Joint Statement on Feb. 13, 2007. This meaningful outcome deserves great acclaim because it came out in a lot of impasses such as North Korea's nuclear test and the U.S. financial sanctions over North Korea. Now is the very moment to demonstrate with specific action what has been achieved through negotiation. It is because the sincere implementation of initial action for abandonment of nuclear materials is only what guarantees new improvement.
Through this negotiation, North Korea and the U.S. successfully reached a compromise that shows more progressiveness than the Geneva agreement did. This includes the North's give-in to the offer of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil in return for disablement of all nuclear facilities beyond simple freezing of it. And also, the U.S. committed to initiate working-conference for normalization of the U.S. and North Korea relationship to make a solution to the BDA case in the process of abandonment of nuclear facilities, and to take measures to terminate the application of Trading with the Enemy Act with respect to North Korea and to remove the designation of the North as a state-sponsor of terrorism. North Korea delivered its willingness to abandon nuclear weapons by agreeing to the disablement of nuclear facilities, in return, the U.S. demonstrated its willingness to abolish hawkish measures against North Korea for the normalization of their relationship.
It is unquestionable that this measure is the initial implementation action setting the stage advancing to North Korea's complete abandonment of nuclear program and the normalization of its relationship. There is no promise that the initial implement action can make breakthrough for all of the problems.
It is much more likely that the specific measures for implementation of the deal between the U.S. and the North would confront a lot of obstacles. It is because the extent and the content of the nuclear program and nuclear facility may become seriously controversial including the list of nuclear program subject to abandonment and HEU that provoked the nuclear crisis, in relation to 'every existing nuclear facility' subject to abandonment. The supervision and confirmation by IAEA inspection agency is also directly related to this issue. It seems not easy to build a concrete plan for determining the responsibility distribution and the procedures for the purpose of providing North Korea with economic and energy aid. The most unavoidable issue is the provision of a light-water reactor for North Korea, which has taken the center stage in disputes between the U.S. and the North.
At least in view of this reason the sincere implementation of the initial measure is very significant in that it could establish mutual trust between the U.S. and the North, making breakthrough easy to achieve. It was the explicit verification of the volitions of the U.S. and the North that made this negotiation realized in the crisis of the North's missile launches and nuclear tests and the following the U.N. sanction against the North. This strengthens the reason that the working-level groups including the two-party dialogue between the U.S. and the North should be revitalized.
In this regard, the swift attempts made by the South Korean government to restore the two Korea's dialogue deserve acclaim. The ministerial level of talks should be resumed in a short period. The government should make all possible efforts to provide the North with food and fertilizer, to expand the economic cooperation and social, cultural interaction, and to hold the Summit meeting for revolutionary improvements in the two Korea's relationship. Most importantly, the Korean internal talks should cover beyond the North's dismantling of nuclear program and the energy and humanitarian aid.
As the North follows the procedure of freezing and disablement of nuclear program, it can raise the issue of imbalance between two Korea's military powers. This seems reasonably persuasive in the compromise for the implementation of the procedure, so the military strategy and operation of the U.S. and South Korea's alliance should be reviewed. Particularly, the US-ROK Combined Forces Command basic warplan, the arrangement of the U.S. Stealth on the Korean peninsula, and talks on RSOI(Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration) scheduled on March are of the North's serious concerns. In an effort for disarmament on the Korean Peninsular, two Korea should resume talks about loosening military tension and disarmament.
Feb. 15, 2007