N. KOREA PROPOSES U.S. TALKS ON PEACE TREATY, DENUCLEARIZATION
Sangwon Yoon and Rose Kim
Bloomberg, June 16, 2013
North Korea proposed its first talks with the U.S. in more than a year to discuss nuclear disarmament and a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, less than a week after it scrapped a meeting with the South.
Any talks must have no preconditions, an unidentified spokesperson of North Korea’s National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. North Korea confirmed its denuclearization commitment on condition that it’s discussed as part of broader talks toward a“nuclear free world,” the commission headed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said.
The U.S. is unlikely to agree to today’s proposal after repeatedly demanding North Korea take steps toward disarmament as a condition for any dialogue. China, North Korea’s biggest benefactor, has also taken a tougher stance against Kim’s regime after it tested an atomic weapon in February and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes in response to sanctions.
“There is no sincerity in North Korea’s offer today for dialogue with U.S., nor do the Americans have any reason to accept the proposal when the North shows no change in its stance regarding its nuclear weapons program,” Park Young Ho, senior research fellow at the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said by phone today. “Ultimately the offer is aimed to appease China, to show that the North is heeding Beijing’s calls for a return to dialogue.”
(...) [article here]