[EDITORIALS]North should study LibyaThe United States announced on Monday that it would normalize diplomatic ties with Libya and that Libya would be erased from the list of countries that support terrorism.
North Korea should closely scrutinize the measure taken by the United States ―normalizing ties after the country scraps its nuclear weapons program. In December of 2003, Libya agreed to completely scrap its weapons of mass destruction programs while dismantling its nuclear facilities on its own and then sending them to the United States.
Through the example of Libya, the United States wants to demonstrate that promises of compensation given along with the condition of scrapping nuclear weapons are surely kept and that the U.S. does not drive for regime change or conversion of the regime.
That is why U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed that “Libya serves as an important model for North Korea and Iran.”
Unlike Libya, which was at the earlier stages of developing nuclear weapons, North Korea is already a nuclear state.
Although at an impasse, there is also a multilateral negotiation framework ― the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.
Therefore, to ask the North to scrap its nuclear arsenal by just citing the example of Libya is a little bit unrealistic.
Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that the nine months of behind-the-scenes negotiations was conducted by key intelligence officials from both sides with the blessing of the top leaders from the two countries.
During this process, British Prime Minister Tony Blair played a key role. If we hope to resolve the deadlock in the six-party talks based on the lesson learned from Libya, a mediator such as Prime Minister Blair is needed.
In addition, the will of the top leaders from the United States and North Korea should be imposed in unofficial direct negotiations.
The United States bombed Libya two times in 1981 and 1986. The two nations were in such a hostile relationship. The normalization of ties between the two countries is a proof of the truth that in international relations there are no eternal enemies.
There is no reason why the United States and North Korea should not change.