Monday, April 10, 2006

Has the Six-Party Talks Process Run Its Course? (submitted to CanKor #245)

The Six Party Talks are intended to lead to the DPRK regime providing verifiable evidence that it poses no nuclear threat to the U.S., China, Russia, Japan and the ROK. Once it is ensured that the DPRK has no capacity to explode a nuclear bomb, presumably the next step would be to induce the DPRK to come into compliance with other international norms. The domestic institutional changes necessary to come into compliance would threaten the existing political status quo in North Korea. So the DPRK does not find it in its interest to initiate such a process by ceasing to project a perception that it poses a nuclear threat to neighbouring countries. So the Talks make no substantive progress. Mostly they seem to wile away the months and years in negotiations about the process. In the long term this could end up badly.

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