PN's Voice 102

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PN's Voice 102, 08.12.2016
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PN's Voice No. 102,  08. 12. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace


Trump Unlikely to Settle for Freeze on N.K. Nuclear Program

The incoming administration of Donald Trump won't accept a freeze or cap on North Korea's nuclear program because such a move would send the wrong signal to Iran, an American expert on Korea said Wednesday. David Straub, a former State Department diplomat, made the remark during a discussion held at the Korea Economic Institute, stressing that the U.S. should never settle for anything short of a complete denuclearization of the communist nation. "I argue that the U.S. cannot accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state ever, not even as a limited one promising not to proliferate, not even under the guise of a freeze," Straub said. "I think it's probable that the administration will reject any consideration of a North Korean freeze or cap in part because of the signal it would send to Iran," he said.

In October, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that denuclearizing North Korea "is probably a lost cause" and the best possible solution to the North Korean nuclear issue may be "some sort of a cap" on the regime's nuclear capabilities. The State Department rejected his assessment, saying denuclearization remains the top goal.

Straub said that the new administration should practice deft diplomacy while significantly increasing sanctions on the North and their implementation. "Either Kim Jong-un will reconsider his position or others in the elite in North Korea will reconfigure the leadership in a direction more in tune with American and South Korean interests," the expert said.
Source : Yonhap News, KBS News


Bruce Cumings: Direct Talks Prove to be Only Way to Defuse Nuclear Tension

South Korea and the United States have used sanctions and punitive measures to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but there is no evidence that the efforts have changed Pyongyang's behavior "in a positive way," Bruce Cumings, a renowned U.S. expert on Korean affairs said on Thursday. Of the four major methods, including sanctions that have been implemented to make the North give up its nuclear ambitions, direct talks have proven to be the only way to help defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula, said Cumings, chair professor at the University of Chicago, during a seminar held in Seoul.

"The U.S. and its South Korean ally have pursued four methods to stop the North Korean nuclear program: sanctions, regime change, waiting endlessly for the regime to collapse and direct talks," Cumings said. "Only one of these methods has ever worked," he noted, referring to direct talks. "North Korea has been sanctioned in every possible way since the Korean War, and there is no evidence that this changed their behavior in a positive way." As a prime example, he cited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's "courage" to go to Pyongyang to hold a meeting with Kim Il-sung in the early 1990s, when the North's nuclear crisis broke out. "Direct talks worked to defuse what probably would've been the second Korean War in June 1994, when President Bill Clinton authorized a pre-emptive strike on the North's plutonium facilities," he said. "Former President Jimmy Carter had the courage to cut through all the decades of nonsense and go directly to Pyongyang for talks with Kim Il-sung." He praised, in particular, late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung for his signature "sunshine policy" under which his administration pursued reconciliation and cooperation with the North. "I was amazed on that warm and sunny day in February 1998, when President Kim mounted the podium and completely transformed the Republic of Korea's strategy toward the North," he said.

Meanwhile, reviewing what the U.S. has done over the past decades in response to the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons, he said that it has ended up a failure and that it is "ridiculous" to deny the fact that the North has now become a nuclear state. "In the quarter century... American policy toward North Korea has added up to a stew of patent absurdities and one clear outcome: North Korea is now a nuclear weapons state," he said. "Now, after several successful nuclear tests (by the North), Washington is in the ridiculous position of saying that we will never recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state."
Source : Yonhap News


Comfort Woman Statue of Girl to Be Erected in Washington D.C.

A statue of a Korean girl, a symbol of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, will be erected in Washington D.C. The committee advocating the installation of the statue in Washington said it will hold a ceremony to welcome the statue at the National Sylvan Theater within the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Saturday. The statue was made in South Korea and sent to the U.S. last month. At 200-centimeters wide and 160-centimeters long it is the same size as the original statue of a girl standing in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

The head of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, Yoon Mee-hyang, said Washington D.C. has a symbolic significance as the U.S. capital and the home to the U.S. Congress, which passed a resolution denouncing Japan’s wartime sexual slavery. She expressed hope that the U.S. city will find a permanent place for the statue so it may serve to educate Americans, teaching them the value of peace and human rights.
Source : KBS News

  
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