Банкеръ Weekly



The second round of the sixlateral negotiations on the Korean nuclear problem has already begun in Beijing. In the very beginning it became clear that the positions of the two main parties - the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the USA - have not at all come closer. But Pyongyang is doing its best to attract to its side Washington's allies. The opening ceremony in was impressive. The delegations of North and South Korea, of China, USA, Japan and Russia congratulated each other and marked their stanpoints afterwards. The US representative James Kelly repeated almost verbatim his words from half a year ago that the USA insist on the entire, controlled and irreversible dismantling of all nuclear programmes of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and finally said that President Bush had made it clear that America does not intend to invade Korea. As a response the delegate of Pyongyang, Kim Ge Guan, promised that his country will show flexibility. The very appointement of Kim Ge Guan as head of the delegation caused optimism among the other participants. It seems this time the Koreans have sent people of real power which gives hopes for more useful discussions, a Chinese expert commented. It's not yet clear how long those discussions will be going on. On Washington's proposal the second round shall not be limited by a time framework as the first one. According to observers, this speaks unambiguously that this time the Americans will insist on reaching some positive results. However, that won't be easy. USA's hopes prior the meeting, supported by the hints of the Koreans themselves, were that Pyongyang will finally admit the existence of its uranium programme. From the first moment of the negotiations, however, it became clear that Pyongyang did not intend to do that. For the time being the only officially admiitted programme its the plutonium one, located in the furniture factory in Yonbion. But the uranium programme could be found literally everywhere. Therefore, the Amercans are ready to show firmness. They have unambiguously stated that any foot-dragging on the part of the Koreans will result in their further international isolation and economic sanctions. According to the Chinese hosts, however, Pyongyang should not be pressed so hard to admit about something it was denying fiercely for so many years. As a dimplomat from Beijing has put it in order to shift into reverse gear a vehicle that is driving forward, you should first stop it.In fact, the problem is not so much in the Koreans' stubborness, but in the lack of consensus between the other participants. Russia, China and South Korea show understanding to Pyongyang's request for getting guarantees and economic assistance against the unarmament. Japan is presently on USA's side. But North Korea will try to get these two allies apart. The delegations of Pyongyang and Tokyo held a bilateral meeting in order to discuss the warming up of relations between the two countries. With that warming up many billions of investmenst may begin to flow towards the poor and starving emocratic People's Republic of Korea, and anti-Korean attitudes in Japan itself will considerably weaken. Thus, the USA would remain without its major ally in the strucggle with comrade Kim.

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