US and N Korea move towards official ties at co-operation
Wednesday 14 June 1995
The United States and North Korea may open liaison offices in each others' capitals as early as August following an agreement announced in Malaysia yesterday, but wrangling over the main subject of negotiations between the two - Pyongyang's suspect nuclear programme - is likely to continue.
Increased diplomatic contacts were part of a deal reached in Geneva in October which aimed to prevent North Korea developing nuclear weapons. The main proposal was to replace the Stalinist regime's reactors with light-water technology supplied by South Korea, which would also meet most of the pounds 2.5bn cost. Light-water reactors produce far less weapons- grade plutonium than North Korea's existing plants.
Almost immediately, Pyongyang began balking at the thought of giving its bitter rival a propaganda coup. It refused to accept South Korean reactors, and threatened twice during the ensuing talks to begin reprocessing fuel rods stored in a cooling pond at Yongbyon, its main nuclear site. Yesterday's deal skates around the problem by saying the reactor type to be supplied is "the advanced version of US-origin design". A US company will be "programme co-ordinator", but in reality the reactors will be identical to two being built at Ulchin, on South Korea's east coast.
The language, however, satisfies North Korea's strategy, which is to insist on dealing directly with the US rather than with South Korea or the United Nations, both seen as being under Washington's control. Recently, Pyongyang has been seeking to dismantle the UN-administered armistice which ended the Korean War. It is demanding a bilateral peace treaty with the US instead.
Although Washington has rejected this, every concession won by North Korea over its nuclear programme has frayed nerves in Seoul. President Bill Clinton assured South Korea this week that it would play a leading role in providing the new reactors to its neighbour, which has become even more mysterious since the death of its supreme leader, Kim Il Sung.
Yesterday it said Kim would be kept in "eternal state" in Pyongyang, apparently confirming that the regime had succeeded in embalming him. There was speculation that the 8 July anniversary of his death might be when his son, Kim Jong Il, assumed to be in control of the country, is anointed as his successor.
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...