While the usual suspects fantasize in their collective right-wing whack-shack about a North Korean ballistic missile test, a working GMD, etc., it would be useful to take a look at what North Korea’s MFA said 1 June.
The fact that North Korea invited Chris Hill for a visit was widely reported at the time. But I don’t remember anyone noting that the statement also said that Pyongyang has made a “strategic decision” to give up its nuclear weapons program.
Here’s the relevant part of the “statement”:http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2006/200606/news06/02.htm#1:
Of late officials of the U.S. administration never open their mouths without crying out for the “resumption of the six-party talks.” They bluster that Pyongyang needs to make a strategic decision and Washington is seeking a new approach toward the DPRK in a bid to build up public opinion.
This, however, is bringing into bolder relief the U.S. true intention to torpedo the six-party talks, not pleased with their process.
We will not need even a single nuclear weapon once we get convinced that the U.S. does not antagonize us and confidence is built between the DPRK and the U.S. and, accordingly, we are no longer exposed to the U.S. threat. This is what we have already clarified more than once.
The DPRK has already made a strategic decision to abandon its nuclear program and this was reflected in the above-said joint statement.
We are fully ready to discuss the issues of bilateral relations, peaceful coexistence, the conclusion of a peace agreement, the provision of light water reactors and other points mentioned in the statement along with the issue of abandoning the nuclear program on the principle of “simultaneous action”.
What remains to be done is for the U.S. to create conditions and climate whereby the DPRK may return to the talks and fulfill its commitment, free from any pressure.
I can’t say that I’ve done the lexis search, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time that North Korea has actually used the phrase “strategic decision.” Anyway, the whole thing is pretty interesting – go “read it”:http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2006/200606/news06/02.htm#1.
Here’s “your reward”:http://www.snakesonablog.com/2006/06/22/snakes-on-the-colbert-report-ii/ for educating yourself.
From the comments section… a reader points out that North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gae Gwan “used the phase”:http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/08/14/gwan.transcript/index.html last summer.
I actually reported his comment in “this piece”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_09/NKoreaTalks9-05.asp on the 6PT. Guess the memory’s not what it used to be….wish I had an excuse other than old age.
I still think the latest comment is important, given the timing and source – a written FM statement is, I think, considered more authoritative.