[EDITORIALS]U.S.-North talks are urgentAfter North Korea claimed that it had finished reprocessing its 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods, the outlook on the peninsula rapidly worsened. It is fortunate, however, that the situation now shows a sign of improvement. China has tried to mediate between the United States and North Korea and proposed holding a three-way dialogue followed by five-way talks to save the faces of the two countries. Pyeongyang and Washington are responding positively. The concerned parties, the United States and North Korea in particular, must accept the proposed format of the talks to come up with a resolution to this nuclear problem.
All countries concerned must appreciate China’s constructive role in the crisis, which could result in an armed clash. To this end, Beijing sent a special envoy to the North after consulting with Seoul, Washington and Tokyo to build a framework for negotiation. Thus, Washington and Pyeongyang should sit down at the negotiating table as soon as possible to repay Beijing’s efforts. It is not a time to add new conditions or make new threats; it is also not a time for foot-dragging.
More problems will arise after the resumption of talks. Washington and Pyeongyang must show a serious attitude, presenting practical options to resolve this nuclear puzzle. North Korea, in particular, must change its tactic of resolving the matter fast through fast settlements; it should offer a “bold approach.” This would create a favorable environment for the North to gain economic assistance and regime security. It must learn that its brinkmanship and threats will no longer work ― such strategies will only produce a contrary result.
Washington should also prepare an inducement to bring Pyeongyang into the international community. If the United States shows rigidity and further isolates the North, the nuclear problem will be prolonged. Washington may also lose its ally in this matter, China, which has sought to help resolve the crisis. In that case, the United States may have to prepare for a showdown, falling into its own trap. It is time for Washington and Pyeongyang to make a wise decision.