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Let’s Give North Korea an Incentive to Remove Plutonium

Let’s Give North Korea an Incentive to Remove Plutonium

Posted December. 08, 2004 22:57,   


With the emergence of the second George W. Bush administration ahead, the “Task Force on the Korean Peninsula,” comprising 26 Korean Peninsula experts in the U.S., came up with a policy proposal to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue. This proposal will be officially issued on December 10.

In the proposal, former U.S. Ambassadors to Korea Donald Gregg and James Laney, Georgetown University professor David Steinberg, senior researcher Selig Harrison of the Center for International Policy, and University of Chicago professor Bruce Cumings advised, “Negotiate the plutonium issue with Pyongyang first, and deal with the uranium issue in the last stage after building trust through mutual concessions at each stage.” The following is the summary:

In order to make North Korea renounce its plutonium nuclear programs, Korea, the U.S., Japan, China, and Russia should provide incentives, including a support program setting the price for each kilogram of plutonium renounced.

In the preparatory stage, Pyongyang should commit itself to renounce its nuclear programs completely, and the U.S. should manifest the objectives of normalization of the relationship and conclusion of a peace pact.

In the first stage, North Korea should remove the plutonium made after the Agreed Framework in 1994, and the U.S. and Japan should establish a liaison office with North Korea.

In the second stage, North Korea should completely remove all residual plutonium, and the U.S. should remove economic sanctions against North Korea.

In the third stage, North Korea should dismantle the production facilities for plutonium nuclear weapons, and the U.S. should begin negotiations to establish an embassy in North Korea.

In the fourth stage, North Korea should renounce its weapon-class HEU program and allow an unlimited access to the inspection team. Meanwhile, the U.S. should embark on the tripartite peace negotiations between the two Koreas and the U.S. to normalize relations and end the condition of armistice.

If North Korea pushes reforms, its totalitarian regime will become loose, and with the beginning of political liberalization process, human rights will be enhanced in the long term. The policies pressuring and isolating the Kim Jong Il regime will only strengthen the position of aggressive opponents to reforms.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com