First of all, the US and Japan have decided to make the North Korean human rights issue part of the nuclear negotiations. The believes that South Korea is right to feel frustrated by Washington’s move. On the other hand One Free Korea feels the human rights issue should be part of the nuclear talks:
How has Korea as a nation come to the point that something which has killed up to 3.5 million of its people is not "essential," even as an ongoing process within a broader set of talks? Can we contrast this jaw-dropping moral laissez-faire with South Korea’s intransigence in its SOFA negotiations with the United States, following two completely accidental deaths? Why should North Koreans who have lost children, parents, husbands, wives, and siblings ever forgive those who consider their loss an acceptable sacrifice to realpolitik? Isn’t this just a degree less heartless than the North Korean regime itself, which deprived them of food and starved them in the first place?
The Lost Nomad doesn’t expect anything to get accomplished anytime soon as North Korea is making demands for the US to build them two light water nuclear reactors in addition to the agreed upon energy aid from South Korea in exchange for dismantling their nuclear program. North Korea is also making demands that the that protects South Korea.
Progress is slow but never the less it is progress. However, I can’t help but feel that we are heading back to 1994 all over again. The prior disarmament framework agreed upon by President Clinton was meant to stop their nuclear program, but didn’t work because the North Koreans went ahead and kept making weapons anyway while enjoying the free international aid because there was no rigid inspection guidelines to ensure compliance.
The North Koreans kept real quiet about it and gave the appearance of compliance. This will be the same deal they will be looking for at this next round of talks starting this month on the 25th of July. The North Koreans just want a nice face saving deal that gives them the free food, money, and the oil they need to keep the regime going plus have enough flexibility in the agreement to be able to covertly hide their weapons program.
In turn they will keep quiet and give the appearance of good behavior to the international community, all the foreign diplomats can pat each other on the back about what a great job they did, heck maybe somebody can even get a Nobel Peace Prize out of this like former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung did back in 2000. All the while the North Korean elites will be sitting back enjoying their spoils, their people still starving, make no progress on human rights, and continue to covertly make nuclear weapons until the next crisis arises and they need more aid.
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