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Skepticism over U.S. Delegation’s Visit to North Korea

Posted January. 12, 2004 23:12,   


The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) of the U.S. reported on January 11 that media reports had exaggerated the U.S.’ civil delegation activities visiting the Yong-byon reactor in North Korea, and that it will not influence the negotiations with North Korea and the second six-party talks, which all are currently at a standstill.

The newspaper quoted a critic saying that North Korea seems to have open their gates to increase expectations, but the result is skeptical. It also added that the concerns of the high officials of the U.S. over North Korea possibly utilizing the opening as a chance to take the leading role of the six-party talk is groundless, according to other critics.

Scott Schneiderman, the Asia Foundation’s representative in Korea, said in an interview with the paper, “The U.S. will obtain some new information through this visit to North Korea,” adding, “However, China or Korea will not agree in saying that this implies a big attitude change that has to be considered in the official procedures (such as in the six-party talk).”

In particular, the newspaper said that the actual inspection did not take place since no measurement instrument was allowed to the delegation and no samples were allowed to be brought out of the country. It also reported that a diplomacy advisor to a U.S. senator said, “The delegation inspected North Korea for three days but under tight security,” and questioned, “What could they have done really?”