Sunday, January 25, 2004

SK tells NK to behave... heh

This from the Korea Times:


Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck said yesterday that North Korea should attach no strings to its consent to rejoin six-party talks on its nuclear weapons development.

He also said it was in North Korea's interests to follow the example of Libya, which recently decided to scrap its nuclear weapons program.

And later:

"We believe North Korea should come to the negotiation table without setting any preconditions, and discuss all the relevant issues at the table," Lee told The Korea Herald.

Asked whether the second round of six-party talks could begin in February, the senior diplomat said the countries "hope so, but nothing has been decided yet."

Asking Pyongyang not to set conditions, make demands, or the like is a bit like asking spider monkeys not to whack off in front of children at the zoo. Behold:

Pyongyang has delayed its decision on participating in the talks, reiterating its offer to freeze nuclear activities in return for energy assistance and other concessions from Washington as a "first-phase" measure to resolve the prolonged nuclear standoff.

North Korean solipsism forces it to perceive its interlocutors as fellow spider monkeys, so it's always "you stop whacking off first, then I'll stop" with them. The goal here is to remain firm in the belief that we aren't spider monkeys.

In a nowadays-rare moment of solidarity, SK officials expressed their support of the US contention that NK has a nuke program:

Regarding controversies over North Korea's nuclear capability, Lee backed the U.S. position that the North possesses an atomic weapons program using highly enriched uranium.

"North Korea confirmed its development of uranium-based nuclear weapons when Kelly visited Pyongyang. The United States has concrete information for it and South Korea has not questioned Washington's judgment," Lee said.

It might, however, be educational to head over to the Oranckay blog for this tidbit re: whether the North actually claimed to have a nuclear program, or merely the right to have one.


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