Bosworth: NK Maintaining Radio Silence

In “testimony to the SFRC”:, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Steven Bosworth spells out the diplomatic situation:

bq.. Fourth and finally, we remain willing to engage North Korea to resolve our differences through diplomacy, including bilaterally, within the framework of the Six-Party process. A central tenet of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy approach to date has been a willingness to engage in dialogue with those with which we have had differences, sometimes very serious differences. From the beginning, this has been the approach we have pursued with North Korea. But North Korea greeted the open hand of the new Administration with preparations to launch a ballistic missile. When I was appointed by the President and Secretary Clinton, I proposed to the North Koreans a visit to Pyongyang, in the spirit of engagement, rather than threat. To this day, I have received no response.

On our trip, we made clear that the United States remains open to bilateral dialogue with North Korea in conjunction with the multilateral effort to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As we have repeatedly stated, the United States has no hostile intent towards the people of North Korea, nor are we threatening to change the North Korean regime through force. We remain committed to the September 2005 Joint Statement from the Six-Party Talks, the core goal of which is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means. We believe it benefits North Korea’s own best interests to return to serious negotiations to pursue this goal. The United States position remains unchanged: we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state.

In conclusion, diplomatic outreach will remain possible if North Korea shows an interest in abiding by its international obligations and improving its relations with the outside world. If not, the United States will do what it must do to provide for our security and that of our allies. We will work with the international community to take defensive measures and to bring significant pressure to bear for North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. The choices for the future are North Korea’s.

p. Shorter version: The ball is in Pyongyang’s court.

_Update: Also of interest are “Bosworth’s remarks to the Korea Society”: in New York last week._

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