[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Off the mark on NorthI welcome the series of articles you’ve run recently about the transition of power in North Korea following death of Kim Il Sung in 1994.
But the first installment (“The legacy of Kim Il Sung is taking on different look”) strayed from the truth, by saying, to paraphrase, that in the months following the June 2000 summit, Kim Jong-il, pursuing a broader diplomacy, met leaders from various countries and agreed to multilateral negotiations to end the North's development of nuclear arms.
Sorry, but that’s way off the mark. In the months following the June 2000 summit, the North’s secret nuclear development was still a secret, and Kim Jong-il was clinking wine glasses with Madeleine Albright.
It wasn’t until two years later that the current round of the nuclear crisis began, when Pyeongyang allegedly admitted to having an enriched-uranium program. And it wasn’t until 2003 that it agreed ― after a stretch of stubborn insistence by the Bush administration on a multilateral dynamic for the nuclear talks ― to the current six-party framework.
In the months prior, Pyeongyang and then-President Kim Dae-jung had been insisting on a bilateral framework.
by Ron Holden