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The North Korea-US agreement - prospects for peace. Tim Beal Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand NZIIA, Canterbury Tues 27 March 2007. Overview. Three for the price of one Agreement of 13 February 2007 Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 Agreed Framework of 1994

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The north korea us agreement prospects for peace l.jpg

The North Korea-US agreement - prospects for peace

Tim Beal

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

NZIIA, Canterbury

Tues 27 March 2007

Overview l.jpg

  • Three for the price of one

    • Agreement of 13 February 2007

    • Joint Statement of 19 September 2005

    • Agreed Framework of 1994

  • >>return to Agreement, aftermath and prospects

  • But first a commercial, then set scene

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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Consumer warning

  • Reviews have been generally positive

    • Charles Armstrong, Columbia University

      • Timely, important, and provocative. A useful corrective to the stereotypes and misinformation that pervade ‘conventional wisdom’ about North Korea

  • But not in NZ International Review

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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NZ International Review

  • Bryan Dorn (Jan-Feb 2007)

    • Masters student at VUW

      • Tim Beal attempts to focus on all issues of the North Korean crisis and ends up doing nothing very well

  • You have been warned…

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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Dorn’s criticism

  • Perhaps the fundamental weakness of Beal's book is its failure to recognise that it takes two parties to make a conflict. Excessive concentration on the United States overshadows the fact that Pyongyang is very far from being innocent in this exceptionally complicated dispute

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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Beal’s response

  • Dorn follows conventional wisdom

    • NK as ‘rogue state’ ..threat to stability

  • Beal – situates NK-US conflict within realist geopolitical framework

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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North Korea

  • NK small, weak state

  • Particular historical/geographic circumstances but with common aspirations

    • Independence

    • Security

    • Development/prosperity

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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United States

  • Global, imperial, superpower

  • NK policy small component of general foreign policy

  • NK not important in itself

    • Needs to be considered within wider policy framework

  • Set the scene>>focus on Six Party framework, and positions of Six

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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CHARACTERISTICS of Six Party Framework

  • 1 US salience

  • 2: Asymmetry

  • 3: Global interconnections – the network effect

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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US Salience

  • 1: US is salient

    • US is by far the most important country for each of the others

      • Not reciprocated

        • Except perhaps China

    • All of them want good relations with US

      • Not least DPRK

NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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US position the default

  • They do things against their own interests – eg ROK sending troops to Iraq – to keep US happy

    • China plays a waiting game

  • They do not oppose US head-on in UN, but work to water down resolutions

    • Eg over invasion of Iraq, condemnation of NK missile and nuclear test

  • Focus in analysis should be on US, not DPRK

    • DPRK policy options limited, US much more complex

  • NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    2: Asymmetry

    • Six parties are very disparate

      • Population, wealth, military power, political system, culture, sovereignty, etc. etc.

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Sovereignty and power I

    • US is the superpower

      • No serious threat from any other power

      • Question of projecting power

        • Iraq shows limits

    • Russia, China and Japan

      • Equal in military spending

      • But Japan not ‘normal country’

        • Has US bases. large element of US military control

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Sovereignty and power II

    • ROK

      • Much bigger and richer than DPRK, much larger military spending, advanced equipment….

        • But US has ‘wartime control’, and bases

    • DPRK

      • Weakest and smallest

        • Limited project of power; defense paramount

        • No foreign bases, military exercises

          • IS DPRK-China mutual defence treaty operable?

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Asymmetry: DPRK and US

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Negotiations with US key to future

    • Mistakes could be fatal

    • Only US can attack, or allow attack

    • Options limited

    • Determined and focussed

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • DPRK itself not important, no threat

    • It is implications of DPRK for global and regional strategies which is important

    • Wide range of problems and issues around the world (Iraq, Iran, Islamic nationalism…

    • Open society, traditionally confident in invulnerability and mission

      • Partisanship , inter-dept rivalry

    • Many options, no urgency

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    3 Global interconnections and network

    • No country is an island

      • Even NK has relationships around the world

    • US, in particular, a global power

      • Korean policy must be seen in wider context

    • When the Americans talk of NK, they think or Iran….and China

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    For each of the Six Parties

    • Its relationship with one of the others has ramifications for its relationship with all

    • The actions of any one of the others impacts on its relationship with all

    • We can conceptualise a dual layer network

      • Between each of the Six with each other

      • Between each of the Six with their global relationships

    • Networks can be hard (political, military, economic) or soft (cultural, influence..)

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • 1 Salience of US

    • 2 Asymmetry

    • 3 Network

    • Now look at positions and policies of the Six

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Russia, China, ROK fairly similar

      • Oppose DPRK nuclear weapons

        • Facilitate Japanese remilitarisation and nuclearisation

        • Could provoke US to war

      • War would have horrendous consequences for Korean peninsula and region

        • China fear that hawks might use opportunity to attack

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Russia, China, ROK

    • Want stability, peace

    • Different attitudes towards unification but all want economic cooperation and growth

    • All oppose collapse of DPRK

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Abe Shinzo – career built on

      • NK abductions

      • ‘Constitutional reform’ (remilitarisation)

    • Currently a ‘spoiler’ – bringing abductee issue to SPT

      • Annoyed Koreas, China, now US

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Abductee issue good for domestic consumption

      • Washington Post editorial 24/3/07 –Abe’s wilting popularity

    • Tension with DPRK>>remilitarisation

      • Aimed at China

    • Worried about Korean reunification

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    North Korea

    • What does North Korea want?

    • Asked Bob Gallucci – no answer

    • Answer would be embarrassing because it invalidates ‘rogue state’ cliché

    • Two recent quotes

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Bates Gill

      • a China specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    • “They want a peace treaty. They want a normal relationship with the United States.”

      • Yardley, Jim. "Cleaning Up the 20th Century " New York Times, 18 March 2007.

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Establishing diplomatic relations with Washington is at the heart of Pyongyang’s wish list in current talks over its nuclear program.

    • For Pyongyang, gaining diplomatic recognition in Washington is seen as a way of addressing its economic collapse, according to a South Korean government official. “It makes sense,” said the official. “You get diplomatic recognition, sanctions are lifted and business will follow.”

      • Lee, Brian. "For Pyongyang talks are a way to make friends " JoongAng Ilbo, 13 March 2007.

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    North Korea’s aspirations

    • Security

    • Survival as independent country

      • Pending reunification

    • Normal diplomatic and commercial relationships

      • US, Japan

    • Short term humanitarian aid

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    United States

    • Much more difficult to pin down

      • NK issue small, part of wider strategic framework

      • Dissension, infighting (hawks/neocons v realists>>no coherent, consistent policy

    • Two underlying strands

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Two strands of logic in US strategy

    • Overlapping, sometimes contradictory imperatives

    • Global and Regional

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • DPRK must be punished and destroyed as an example to others

      • Peaceful coexistence would send wrong message

    • Not as pressing an issue as Middle East

      • NK is no threat, there is no real danger of things getting worse cf Iraq

      • Can be put on backburner

        • Agreement13 Feb

    • Rational for Missile Defense

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Prime objective is containment of China

      • US-Japan alliance (now involving Taiwan)

      • Overtures to India, support for nuclear (missile?) programmes

        • Using India to Keep China at Bay, December 12, 2006, Foreign Policy in Focus,

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Perception of Threat

    • DPRK threat and tension essential ingredient

      • Keep and consolidate Japan and ROK under US hegemony

    • Reunification would undercut military presence in Korea

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Strategic incoherence

    • US critics often accuse Administration of ‘strategic incoherence’

      • Clinton>>Perry

      • Bush doing the same

    • No solution – real reason:

      • Lack of clarity about strategic aims

      • Refusal to recognise conflicts between them

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Conflict between global and regional

    • Global >>destroy DPRK

    • Regional >> preserve DPRK

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Agreement 13 February 2007

      • Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement

    • >>Joint Statement 19 September 2005

    • >>>successor to Agreed Framework

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Origins of AF - nuclear issue

    • DPRK two main nuclear objectives

      • Electricity

        • Energy security …nuclear fuel cycle

      • Military Security (assumed but denied)

      • Same as every other nuclear-capable country

      • Parallels with India particularly topical and relevant

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Need for electricity often overlooked

    • Key constraint on economic recovery

    • ROK (Japan…) large dependence on nuclear energy

    • UK reactivating nuclear energy programme

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    1993/4 crisis>>Agreed Framework

    • Early 1990s – US suspected NK extracting plutonium which could be used for weapons

    • Jimmy Carter meets Kim Il Sung

      • Agreement forced upon Clinton

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Agreed Framework

    • I Both sides will cooperate to replace the DPRK’s graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities with light-water reactor (LWR) power plants.

      • Due 2003 – five years behind schedule, now cancelled

    • US-led Korean Peninsula Energy Organization (KEDO)

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Initiated and controlled by US, paid for mainly by ROK and Japan

    • Now formally disbanded

      • ROK having to pick up final bills

    • US to provide annual supplies of heavy fuel oil as compensation for energy forgone

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Agreed Framework

    • II The two sides will move toward full normalization of political and economic relations.

      • Little progress except late 2000; frozen by Bush

    • III Both sides will work together for peace and security on a nuclearfree Korean peninsula

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    nuclearfree Korean peninsula

    • US to give formal assurances against the threat of nuclear weapons

      • Bush Nuclear Posture Review threatened preemptive nuclear strike

    • DPRK implement N-S denuclearization agreement

      • Enriched uranium would breech that

    • IV. Both sides will work together to strengthen the international nuclear non proliferation regime.

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Sunshine to clouds

    • Kim Dae-jung’s ‘sunshine policy’

      • Engagement with North was necessary to prevent war

      • Collapse of DPRK would disastrous for ROK

        • Defuse tensions, move to peaceful reunification

      • Pressure on Clinton >>Perry Report >>US – DPRK modus vivendi

        • NK missile moratorium

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Pyongyang Summit 2000

    • June – highly successful summit

    • October –Secretary Albright visits Pyongyang, comes back with invitation to Clinton

    • Clinton packs his bags but Gore loses election

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Kim Dae-jung’s final years

    • Bush makes clear he is abandoning Clinton’s policies, Korea and elsewhere

      • ABC policy

    • March 2001 Kim Dae-jung goes to Washington, is rebuffed

    • North-South relations go up and down

    • Kim’s successor Roh Moo-hyun continues policy

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    January 2002

    • Nuclear Posture Review

      • Violates NS- nuclear accord; Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

    • Axis of Evil speech

      • State of the Union speech links Iraq, Iran and DPRK

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Collapse of Agreed Framework

    • US never fully implemented AF, effectively destroyed it late 2002

      • Charged DPRK with having highly enriched uranium programme (HEU)

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Kelly’s Pyongyang visit October 2002

    • Kelly came back from Pyongyang claiming

      • He had accused NK of having HEU programme

      • They admitted this

    • Pyongyang soon denied both charges, but crisis had been set in motion

      • US suspended deliveries of oil, abrogating AF; Pyongyang reactivated reactors. US refused to negotiate

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Republicans hadn’t liked Agreed Framework

      • (or Clinton>>>ABC foreign policy)

    • HEU gave reason (or excuse?) to tear up AF

    • Timing – fear of improved Japan-NK, SK-NK relations

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • NK left NPT>> nuclear test October 2006

    • Nuclear test direct result of reactivation of reactors mothballed under AF

    • Was destroying AF because of HEU

      • Justified (i.e. was there a programme)

      • Worth it (did the possibility of a programme outweigh consequences)

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Brokered by China

      • 3 Party April 2003

      • 1: 27-29 August 2003

      • 2: 25-28 Feb 2004

      • 3: June 2004

      • 4: July- August and September 2005

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Six Party Talks 2005>>

    • Breakthrough

      • Joint Statement 19 September 2005

    • Breakdown

      • 19/20 September 2005

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Joint Statement took everyone by surprise

    • No indication earlier of any shifting of positions

    • JS

      • Very ambiguous but allowed face-saving way to restore Agreed Framework

      • Two interesting omissions

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • HEU not specifically mentioned

      • Had been the alleged reasons for US tearing up Agreed Framework

    • Cheney

      • Architect of US Korea policy

      • Had personally intervened at previous rounds

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Chinese pressure

    • According to NY Times

      • US isolated 9except foe Japan)

      • China threatened to accuse US as blockage

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Why did US sign?

    • Cheney absent

    • Rice

      • Each country, she suggested, would issue separate statements describing their understanding of the deal, with a specificity that is not in the agreement itself

    • Did that, in Washington and Beijing, DPRK reacted, >>BREAKDOWN

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Banco Delta Asia affair

    • `Simultaneous with JS – clear attempt to derail it

    • US Treasury invoked USA Patriot Act against Macau bank

      • Accused it of money-laundering

    • Effectively froze $24 m in NK accounts

      • Bank taken over by Macau authorities

    • >>cut NK off from international banking system

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    BDA affair

    • Part of a ‘toolkit’ - Illicit Activities Initiative’ (AIA)

    • Use allegations of counterfeiting, drug running, human rights abuses, etc

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Characteristics of IAI

    • Actions taken disproportionate to alleged offence or counter-productive

      • Eg counterfeiting of ‘supernotes – US intercepts $2.8 million a year

      • US postures on human rights probably exacerbate situation

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Characteristics of IAI

    • No evidence

    • When put to test never proved

      • Eg Pong Su heroin case in Australia

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    BDA illustrates both characteristics

    • $24 m is petty cash

      • Majority came from identified business ventures

        • Eg Hyundai (tourism, Kaesong Industrial Complex

      • One drug peddler

      • British American Tobacco company

        • Has factory in NK

      • Why put Six Party Talks at risk, allow nuclear test for a fistful of dollars?

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Patriot Act requires no evidence – rests on executive action

    • No evidence produces

    • Audit by Ernst & Young reported found no evidence of money laundering

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    BDA stalemate

    • Financials sanctions kept SPT in abeyance until Dec 2006

    • US-NK Meetings Oct 2006, SPT Dec 2006, Berlin Jan

    • Hill agreed ‘to lift financial sanctions’

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Why did US back down?

    • Chinese pressure

      • Want SPT to succeed

      • Angry at BDA affair

        • Stalemating SPT

        • Extraterritoriality

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Back down

    • Middle East

    • Mid term elections

      • Change in configuration of forces in Washington

        • Rumsfeld went

        • Cheney’s influence diminished

        • Rice ascendant

        • Robert Joseph resigns

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Back Down

    • The NK nuclear test of October 2006

      • Exposed Administration to criticism that NK had become a nuclear power ‘on their watch’

      • If they had continued AF this would not have happened

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Agreement of 13 February 2007

    • Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement

      • Everything in JS is still there ( including LWRs)

    • Accepted NK principle of sequencing

      • US had wanted Complete, Verifiable and Irreversible Disarmament (CVID) first

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Financial sanctions

    • The DPRK and the US will start bilateral talks aimed at resolving pending bilateral issues and moving toward full diplomatic relations

    • ‘Under a side agreement, the United States promised to resolve [BDA affair] within 30 days’

      • Washington Post 14 March 2007

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    BDA does not go away

    • As deadline approached increased fighting between Treasury and State

    • Treasury forced to release all NK funds ($24m) but blacklists BDA

    • Result – no bank will accept funds because of fear of Patriot Act

    • Talks, once again, collapse

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Russian delegate, Deputy Foreign Minister, former ambassador to NZ

    • “The American side promised to resolve the financial question, and this promise was not fulfilled”

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Conflict not between US and NK but State and Treasury

    • Uncertain whether US can effectively lift sanctions

      • Even if State wins, difficult to get international bank to do business with NK unless really massive shift in US policy

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    HEU resurfaces

    • Agreement, again, does not specifically mention HEU

    • Hill, DeTrani admit NK may not have a real HEU programme after all

      • Echoes of Iraq intelligence

    • Bryan Dorn castigates me for casting doubt on HEU

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Even if financial sanctions issue is resolved, HEU will probably scuttle agreement

      • NK cannot prove that it does not have a programme

      • Hill wants it to admit to having centrifuges

        • Will not satisfy hardliners

      • If administration admits HEU unjustified then attack by Democrats

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    • Genies are out of bottle and can’t be put back in

    • Will NK disarm?

      • Probably, but will depend on US fulfilling obligations

    • Will US fulfil obligations?

      • Probably not

    • Stalemate

    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07

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    Finally..3 commercials

    • Very good review of my book in next issue of NZ Journal of Asian Studies by Dr Changzoo Song, Korean specialist at U of Auckland

    • Keep up to date with website

    • Send me email to be notified about Pyongyang Report


    NZIIA Canterbury 27/3/07