NK: Can This Bad Marriage Be Saved?

Here’s the “IAEA statement”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2008/prn200813.html on North Korea’s latest move:

Press Release 2008/13
IAEA Removes Seals from Plant in Yongbyon

24 September 2008 | Following is a statement to the media by IAEA Spokesperson Melissa Fleming on the situation in the DPRK:

“As the Director General reported to the Board on Monday, the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea, the DPRK, asked the IAEA to remove seals and surveillance from the reprocessing plant in Yongbyon.

This work was completed today. There are no more IAEA seals and surveillance equipment in place at the reprocessing facility.

The DPRK has also informed the IAEA inspectors that they plan to introduce nuclear material to the reprocessing plant in one week´s time.

They further stated that from here on the IAEA inspectors will have no further access to the reprocessing plant.”

OK, OK, here’s the “new IAEA statement”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2009/prn200903.html:

Press Release 2009/03
IAEA Inspectors Asked to Leave the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

2009-04-14 | Following is a statement to the media by IAEA Spokesperson Marc Vidricaire on the situation in the DPRK:

“The Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has today informed IAEA inspectors in the Yongbyon facility that it is immediately ceasing all cooperation with the IAEA. It has requested the removal of all containment and surveillance equipment, following which, IAEA inspectors will no longer be provided access to the facility. The inspectors have also been asked to leave the DPRK at the earliest possible time.

The DPRK also informed the IAEA that it has decided to reactivate all facilities and go ahead with the reprocessing of spent fuel.”

The consensus is already taking shape: North Korea has walked away from the 6PT and ain’t coming back. Maybe I’m overcorrecting, but I remember thinking the same thing last year, too.

Possibly there’s still hope, if not for the resumption of the 6PT, then for renewal of dialogue in some other form that keeps Yongbyon on ice. Both sides seem to have an interest in moving to a “bilateral format”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1947/batman-begins.

Still, things do look worse this time around, don’t they? It may be that KJI, post-stroke, has become preoccupied with regime solidarity, and is not interested in handing off a delicate diplomatic process to a neophyte successor.

If so, KJI is courting a very tough response from a U.S. that feels threatened by surplus plutonium, and the possibility that it might someday go further afield than North Korea.

One thought on “NK: Can This Bad Marriage Be Saved?

  1. Josh

    Here’s North Korea’s statement:

    April 14. 2009 Juche 98
    DPRK Foreign Ministry Vehemently Refutes UNSC’s “Presidential Statement”
    Pyongyang, April 14 (KCNA) — The DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday flatly rejecting the brigandish “presidential statement” which the U.S. and its followers finally released by abusing the UNSC to condemn the DPRK’s launch of satellite for peaceful purposes.

    Saying that throughout history the UNSC has never taken issue with satellite launches, the statement continues:

    First, the DPRK resolutely rejects the unjust action taken by the UNSC wantonly infringing upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and seriously hurting the dignity of the Korean people.

    Second, there would be no need to hold six-party talks which the DPRK has attended.

    Now that the six-party talks have turned into a platform for infringing upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and seeking to force the DPRK to disarm itself and bring down the system in it the DPRK will never participate in the talks any longer nor it will be bound to any agreement of the six-party talks.

    Third, the DPRK will bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way.

    It will take the measure for restoring to their original state the nuclear facilities which had been disabled under the agreement of the six-party talks and putting their operation on a normal track and fully reprocess the spent fuel rods churned out from the pilot atomic power plant as part of it.


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