PN's Voice 96

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 96, 27-10-2016
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PN's Voice No. 96   27. 10. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

Clapper: Notion of N. Korean Denuclearization is Lost Cause

America’s top intelligence official expressed deep skepticism on Tuesday about the prospect of persuading North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons, saying it was “probably a lost cause.” James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence argues that as it is not likely that North Korea will give up its nuclear ambition, efforts should be focused on limiting the North’s nuclear capability. The remark is expected to stir controversy in the U.S. which has pursued the denuclearization of North Korea as its policy aim.

The Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper was speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations. He called for a policy change to deal with the North. "So the notion of giving up their nuclear capability, whatever it is, is a nonstarter with them ... The best we could probably hope for is some sort of a cap, but they're not going to do that just because we ask them. There's going to have to be some significant inducements" said Clapper. His suggestions refer to an idea of recognizing the North's current level of nuclear capabilities and make them keep it at that.
The newly emerging viewpoints on North Korea are expected to spur debate. The U.S. has so far been adamant that there can be no dialogue without the North’s commitment to denuclearization. Director Clapper suggested that Washington should focus on the option of providing more outside information to North Korean citizens.
Source : The New York Times, KBS News

N. Korea Unlikely to Hold Official Talks with US in the Foreseeable Future

North Korea is not likely to enter into official talks with the United States anytime soon, according to Joseph DeTrani, a former U.S. government official who had the behind-the-scene meetings with North Korean diplomats in Malaysia last week. DeTrani, a former U.S. special envoy for the long-stalled six party talks is said to have considered the informal meetings as "friendly" but really broke no new ground. He believes that the two-day talks might help in longer run get official talks going again but certainly nothing in the near future.

"It appears that North Korea is unlikely to enter into official talks with the U.S. in the near term," DeTrani was quoted as saying by William Brown, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in their conversation after the talks. "In the longer term, however, they may be willing to enter into exploratory denuclearization and security assurances talks."

According to Brown, DeTrani described the unofficial talks as "professional, candid and friendly," saying that North Korea joined the Track 2 dialogue to learn about current U.S. concerns over North Korea and its nuclear programs." At the talks, U.S. discussions centered on the Sept. 19, 2005 agreement and nuke testing, whereas the North side worries about military exercises.

The recent track 2 level talks the DeTrani participated in had raised questions over the possibility of opening an official dialogue between the two nations ahead of U.S. presidential election. However Brown was pessimist on this saying "This is just another small placeholder in the tortured, sixty-seven year-long litany of Washington-Pyongyang diplomacy," Additionally, Brown noted that the Obama administration quickly dismissed the whole effort. He added that they (U.S. negotiators) might have spoken about what Hillary Clinton, or even Donald Trump, might be thinking but not in an authoritative or even useful way.
Source : The Korea Times

North Korea Launches Missile Ahead of U.S. Presidential Debate

North Korea made a failed attempt to launch a mid-range ballistic missile hours ahead of the final U.S. presidential debate on Wednesday, apparently hoping to redirect the spotlight toward its weapons development. Pyongyang fired what was assumed to be a Musudan mid-range missile at about 6.30 am local time, U.S. Strategic Command said, just three hours before the third and final showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Las Vegas. The abortive show of force came after the U.S. and South Korea condemned Pyongyang for launching a Musudan missile less than a week earlier. That attempt also ended in failure after the missile exploded shortly after takeoff, the allies said.

The NIS said North Korean leader Kim is frequently changing the times and venues of official events he is slated to attend out of fear of being assassinated. The young leader was also said to be importing explosive detectors and using them at official events. The agency said Kim is afraid of the South Korea-U.S. alliance’s 'decapitation mission' to eliminate the North Korean leadership and is trying to conceal his whereabouts as much as he can.

With a presumed range of more than 3,000 km, a functional Musudan would theoretically be capable of striking U.S. bases in Japan and Guam, as well as threatening South Korea. While the missile has undergone a string of failed launches and has never demonstrated its full range, an analysis published by 38 North this week warned that it could be fully operational within months. “Just like Dr. Strangelove said: A doomsday machine is useless if nobody knows that you have it,” said Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst at Troy University. “They will utilize their military capabilities for coercive purposes, of course,” he added.

If Pyongyang was gunning for a mention on the presidential debate stage, it failed. Neither the Democratic nor Republican candidate made even a passing reference to North Korea, although Trump did reiterate his call for South Korea to pay more toward the cost of stationing U.S. troops on its soil. Previously, former Secretary of State Clinton has supported additional sanctions against the regime, while calling for renewed pressure on China so it will tame its ally. During the second presidential debate, Trump said China should “go into” North Korea, sparking discussion about whether he was advocating military intervention by Beijing.
Source : The New York Times, The Diplomat

Latest Peace Network English Essays

Lastly, please click the links below to access recent English essays published on Peace Network’s website:

'How Inter-Korean Relations are Politicized in Korea' by Peace Network's Director, Wook-sik Cheong:Essay Link

'Conscientious Objection in Korea: Past and Present' by Yong Seok, activist for “World Without War”: Essay Link

‘Obama, Trump, Clinton & The Korean Peninsula’ by Peace Network researchers Olly Terry & Byeongseon Park: Essay Link

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