North must adjust strategyNorth Korea has made a sudden decision to resume talks with the United States. The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations clarified the country’s objection to the resumption of the six-party talks and showed a willingness to hold bilateral talks with the United States.
The U.S. has not officially refused direct dialogue with the North within the six-party framework. As it is widely known, the two nations talked behind the scenes about the possible release of two female American journalists detained in the North, so the time for open talks is ripe.
The North’s intentions can be understood in several ways. It is looking to prevent the full-fledged initialization of United Nations sanctions. It hopes that by doing so, it can mitigate its food and economic crisis and achieve its long-cherished goal of acquiring the status of a nuclear state. However, this is all in vain.
Recently, the Americans indicated that the existing negotiation patterns with the North will no longer be repeated.
The U.S. has in the past accepted the North’s suggestions and has adopted a phased manner of resolving nuclear problems in a “word for word” or “deed for deed” way.
But that failed to prevent the North from breaking promises and reprocessing plutonium and conducting nuclear tests.
Therefore, the U.S. government is firmly committed to engaging in negotiations with the North in a resolvable and irrevocable manner. This is the core part of the comprehensive package.
North Korea should clarify its intention to discard nuclear arms as well as its willingness to hold talks. It should stop insisting that it should have nuclear weapons to protect itself from the U.S. Otherwise, negotiations with the U.S. won’t yield positive results.
Essentially, the country should have a firm commitment to overhaul its old-fashioned institution, which is highly dependent on the extreme suppression of human rights and based on a national isolation policy. It should build a more open and modern social institution. Otherwise, the North will hold on to its belief that every foreign country is an enemy.
Pyongyang should be ready for true dialogue. It should be prepared to abandon nuclear arms and reform its social institution to promote a peaceful exchange with other countries. Then and only then will the international community ? including the U.S., South Korea, China, Japan and Russia ? help North Korea overcome its difficulties.
The U.S. indicated it would offer a comprehensive package covering a variety of aid measures that North Korea may be “attracted” to. However, true dialogue is the only way for North Korea to survive.