Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Nuclear Roadblock to NK Development [Saturday Interview: L. Gordon Flake]

Excerpts:

Why would we want to recognize them as a nuclear power? Why would we want to give them that credibility? We don’t. We will not have a general meeting about the Six-Party Talks until North Korea agrees on what we’re talking about. And the focus and topic of the talks is denuclearization. 

There is no other topic. The problem with North Korea today is they don’t want to talk about denuclearization. What does “denuclearization” mean? By North Korea’s definition, it means a peace treaty, the end of hostile behavior, then Russia, China and the U.S. abandoning nuclear weapons all together. That’s what it means. 

When we say denuclearization, we mean the fulfillment of the 2005 joint statement, which says, “You will unilaterally abandon your nuclear weapons and return to compliance with those peaceful agreements, just like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and 180 other countries have done.” That’s what it means for us.

Conclusion:
GF: As long as North Korea has nuclear weapons, the U.S. and the UN will actively oppose the success of the Byungjin Line of simultaneous nuclear and civilian economic development. Before they had nuclear weapons, we would have supported economic development. 

We do not support the economic development of North Korea because we do not want a scenario in which North Korea succeeds with its nuclear weapons program, and that’s a congruency of time. Obviously there are many other obstacles as well; human rights are one of them. The basic political system and the free flow of information are similarly problematic, but the number one problem now is the nuclear weapons program. Until they abandon their nuclear weapons program, they will not have economic development. 

The North Korean regime has three key pillars: control over the flow of information, control over the movement of people, and control over the means of production. We tell North Korea, “We want you to open and reform,” but if you open and reform, you lose control of the movement of the people, you lose control over the flow of information, and you lose control over the means of production. This is why North Korea is so hesitant to reform because it’s dangerous. 
The greatest obstacle is the nature of the North Korean regime. If they want to reform and open, they must change the nature of their regime, and that is very difficult.

Gordon's seven paragraphs above do more to succinctly, simply, and clearly explain the nature of the Kim family regime and the nuclear issue than other essay or report.  I wish that policy makers and pundits would commit them to memory.
V/R
Dave

The Nuclear Roadblock to NK Development

[Saturday Interview: L. Gordon Flake]http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk02500&num=11071
By Oh Se Hyeok
[2013-10-13 03:53 ]  
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▲ L. Gordon Flake of the Mansfield Foundation (ⓒDailyNK)
In late September, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies held its annual conference on North Korea in Seoul, bringing expert voices from South Korea and around the world to discuss a multitude of policy issues pertaining to North Korea and the wider region. 

One of the U.S.-based experts taking part in the event, L. Gordon Flake of the Mansfield Foundation subsequently met with Daily NK reporter Oh Se Hyeok to discuss a range of subjects, including international coordination on North Korea and the reality that for as long as North Korea opts to pursue nuclear weapons, there is no way for the international community to embrace the countrty's attempts to bring about substantive economic development.
Oh Se Hyeok (Oh): Despite international pressure, North Korea seems determined to develop its nuclear capabilities. Therefore, how should the international community deal with North Korea going forward?

L. Gordon Flake (GF): It really depends on what North Korea does. If they test another nuclear weapon, there is a well-established series of responses by the United Nations Security Council that will take place. As per the character of the United Nations Security Council, if they pass a sanctions resolution and North Korea ignores it, then the issue again goes back to the Security Council. 

So there’s no question about that particular issue. If North Korea tests another long-range missile, if they test another nuclear weapon, we know that the issue will be referred back to the UN Security Council. 

There is not a lot of new action we can take, frankly, but each time North Korea does something we can become a little more focused. There are no other new options; we will just continue to tighten up international pressure in response to their provocative acts.

Oh: That means that even if we don’t anticipate a positive response from North Korea, we still have to go on the offensive.

GF. Once sanctions are in place, it is hard to take them off. In other words, if sanctions come about after a nuclear or long-range missile test, you’re not going to change North Korea by ceasing the punishment. So really, the only way to go is to do more. There is no option to reduce sanctions. As long as they continue to pursue their long-range missiles and nuclear program, the level of sanctions will only increase. 

Oh: That’s a very clear message. But what if the Six-Party Talks take place in Pyongyang? So far all the meetings have been held in Beijing.

GF: The location doesn’t matter. It’s in China because China has been able to take the lead on that, and we like China taking the lead. The reason the U.S. has not come back to the Six-Party Talks is not related to the location. It has everything to do with the fact that North Korea is not willing to discuss giving up its nuclear weapons. 

They are not willing to abide by their previous agreements, and their basic position now is, ‘Look, I made a promise. I broke that promise. Let’s talk about making a new promise.’ It just doesn’t make sense. First, you have to re-establish credibility. As long as North Korea continues to assert that they are a nuclear power, that they will not abandon their nuclear ambitions, there’s nothing to talk about. So the location of the talks does not matter.

Oh: But if the delegates were to gather in Pyongyang, then that would give an indirect message to the North Korean people and their leaders.

GF: But there is also a risk. The delegates gather in Pyongyang and North Korea just tells its people, “We are a nuclear power, and these other countries have all come to recognize us as a nuclear power.” 

Why would we want to recognize them as a nuclear power? Why would we want to give them that credibility? We don’t. We will not have a general meeting about the Six-Party Talks until North Korea agrees on what we’re talking about. And the focus and topic of the talks is denuclearization. 

There is no other topic. The problem with North Korea today is they don’t want to talk about denuclearization. What does “denuclearization” mean? By North Korea’s definition, it means a peace treaty, the end of hostile behavior, then Russia, China and the U.S. abandoning nuclear weapons all together. That’s what it means. 

When we say denuclearization, we mean the fulfillment of the 2005 joint statement, which says, “You will unilaterally abandon your nuclear weapons and return to compliance with those peaceful agreements, just like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and 180 other countries have done.” That’s what it means for us.

Oh: What motivated North Korea to postpone the recent round of family reunions? 

GF: Most likely, it has to do with an internal debate inside North Korea, but we cannot be sure.

There are clearly some people in North Korea who want economic opening and development, and there are military or other forces who are very skeptical about it. There are clearly people who like Kaesong and others who don’t like Kaesong. I don’t think this has anything to do with South Korea or other foreign policy elements. It has to do with domestic issues inside North Korea.

Oh: How can South Korea promote a constructive relationship with North Korea, given recent developments?
(Continued at the link below)
http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk02500&num=11071

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