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North Pacific Working Group Seoul meeting and beyond. Tim Beal Presentation to CSCAP NZ Wellington 19 February 2004. NPWG Seoul. date co-chairs Canada and Japan, host ROK Representation from Canada - Bob Bedeski Japan - Yoshinobu Yamamoto ROK – Kim Dal-chong, Kim Tae-hyo…

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North Pacific Working GroupSeoul meeting and beyond

Tim Beal

Presentation to CSCAP NZ


19 February 2004

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NPWG Seoul

  • date

  • co-chairs Canada and Japan, host ROK

  • Representation from

    • Canada - Bob Bedeski

    • Japan - Yoshinobu Yamamoto

    • ROK – Kim Dal-chong, Kim Tae-hyo…

    • China Qin Huasun

    • US – Brad Glosserman

    • Philippines, Indonesia, Mongolia, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan

    • NZ..not Australia, DPRK

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August six-Party Talks

  • main focus, and purpose of special meeting

  • No one surprised at outcome

  • China proud of role

  • Most interesting speaker was Russian

    • nuclear energy only way for either Korea

  • Transcript and papers available

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Monitoring proposal

  • C0hairs proposed setting up a group to ‘monitor’ Six-Party talks

  • Vetoed by China because DPRK wasn’t present

  • Various suggestions but essentially put on back burner

  • NPWG is no more, and attention has shifted to 25 Feb talks

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Feb Six Party talks

  • originally scheduled for Dec

  • Why delay?

  • China wanted joint statement that would indicate progress

    • US continues to refuse to negotiate but happy with talks

    • DPRK unhappy at talks unless there is negotiation

  • China, Russia, ROK, (Japan?) wants negotiations of some sort

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Why now?

  • Seems like another concession from DPRK

    • coupled with other offers eg freeze

    • US line unchanged

  • DPRK acceptance seems to have been the go ahead

  • The positions of the two main parties?

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  • Speech by James Kelly

    • Ensuring a Korean Peninsula Free of Nuclear Weapons


  • Quotes

    • I was to call on North Korea to reverse its nuclear course, after which the United States would be prepared to consider bilateral negotiations on other matters.

    • President Bush stated last October that the United States was willing to join other participants in the Six-Party Talks in providing security assurances to North Korea in the context of its complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear program.

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Korea Times

  • US Seeks North Korea's Surrender

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  • Paper by Li Gun

    • Requisites for Resolving the Nuclear Question


    • The criteria for judging that the US has given up its hostile policy toward North Korea are as follows: First, provide in a manner believable to us a non-aggression guarantee stating that the US will not attack us. Second, diplomatic relations between North Korea and the US must be established. Third, the US must not interfere with North Korea's economic transaction with South Korea, Japan, and other nations. Our position holds that unless the above three conditions are resolved we will not be able to discuss questions about whether we possess nuclear weapons or the dismantling of any such weapons.

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  • Heavy enriched uranium focus of talks

  • Agreed Framework of 94 dealt only with plutonium

  • There was talk of uranium programme in Washington in late 90s

  • Armitage in ‘Comprehensive solution’ doesn’t mention it but probably has it in mind

  • Gilman does

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Gilman Report 1999

  • there is significant evidence that North Korea is continuing its activities to develop nuclear weapons.  Remarkably, North Korea's efforts to acquire uranium technologies, that is, a second path to nuclear weapons, and their efforts to weaponize their nuclear material do not violate the 1994 Agreed Framework

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  • US has satellite photos of DPRK-Pakistan ‘transfers’

  • After 9/11, to buy Afghanistan, US had first to buy Pakistan

    • this led to more intelligence

  • How much, how reliable?

    • Kumchangri fiasco

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Koizumi-Kim Summit

  • K-K summit of Sept 02 worried US

  • Jonathan Pollack

    • and new intelligence re HEU triggered crisis

    • Jim Kelly ‘confronted’ NK in October

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October confrontation

  • Kelly claimed that DPRK ‘Admitted’ HEU

  • DPRK denied this to Oberdorfer, and in print soon afterwards

    • but widely accepted (still is)

  • end 02, US stop heavy fuel oil severing AF

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DPRK response

  • Withdrawing from NPT

  • Reactivating plutonium program ‘for electricity’

  • Mid year moved to saying nuclear deterrent

  • HEU was forgotten

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3 wise men

  • Jan 04 unofficial visit by John Lewis, Hecker (Los Alamos) and Jack Pritchard

  • Hecker: not convinced that NK was able to weaponise

  • Pritchard

    • resigned from State in 03

    • administration had been refusing to negotiate because did not believe NK could reprocess plutonium

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Jan visit

  • Invited by DPRK to show that they were making progress with plutonium

  • Reiterated that they did not have a uranium program

  • Gave Lewis a transcript of Oct 02 meeting with Kelly

  • Lewis concluded that there had been a misinterpretation of ‘admission’

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HEU back on screen

  • Washington Post discovered that China did not believe in HEU program

    • they suggested Japanese did not either

    • Russians had long expresses doubts about NK capabilities

  • Seoul did not either

    • asked at Nov CSCAP - ROK has not made any formal complaint about HEU

  • Solution to problem? Bring in Pakistan

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Khan’s confession

  • TV confession by Abdul Qadeer Khan

    • Pakistan’s ‘Father of A Bomb’

  • Dawn quoted official on US threats

    • $3 billion aid

    • Reimposition of sanctions

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  • A major issue of 25 Feb talks

    • US adamant that program exists and mist be ‘verifiably’ dismantled

    • DPRK says no such program

  • Truth uncertain

    • Probably no substantial weapons program

    • Non-existence can never be proved

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  • Stalemate

  • DPRK will be flexible, but only to a degree, and only if US negotiates

  • US will not negotiate

    • Hopes for NK surrender/ collapse

    • Stalemate produces ‘crisis’ conducive to the image of a ‘war president’

      • No US causalities

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  • Danger that DPRK will prove progress on plutonium weaponisation

    • That will give Democrats stick with which to beat Bush