Tonight’s “Presidential press conference”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1843/obama-on-nuclear-diplomacy touched on three hot nuclear-diplomacy issues: engaging Iran, launching post-START talks with Russia, and strengthening the nonproliferation treaty regime.
One subject not touched on was North Korea. Intriguingly, though, a revolving procession of U.S. academics and think-tankers in and out of Pyongyang is now underway, with each delegation followed shortly by the next, or so it seems. Two such delegations are mentioned “here”:http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090209_4835.php, and I’ve also heard of another.
This isn’t exactly Track II diplomacy, since the NK interlocutors are government officials — call it Track I and Half.
This sort of thing has been going on for years, actually, but the pace seems to have picked up. The “recently concluded visit led by Stephen Bosworth”:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jIUMgKnfmtyg8T8wMAghB4V2lInAD966LP2O0 of Tufts University may be of special interest, since he’s allegedly in line to be a “special envoy to North Korea”:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jQU3AClp9uLyW4tZ44e9D6nn1Uww.
_Update: The reports about Bosworth appear to be pure speculation and rumor._
Update II: Now Bosworth supposedly will be a “part-time envoy”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1861/part-time-envoy.
This year’s top wonk memento has got to be an “Air Koryo”:http://www.korea-dpr.com//Air%20Koryo/about.htm air sickness bag.