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[Opinion] Rep. Curt Weldon

Posted January. 05, 2005 22:41,   


“For step one, the U.S. shall enter into a one-year non-aggression pact with the DPRK. The DPRK must allow nuclear inspection and rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The U.S., Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea shall raise funds in the range of $3-5 billion per year for the next 10 years to revitalize DPRK’s economy. For step two, the U.S. non-aggression pact becomes permanent. The DPRK must remove all nuclear weapons and materials within two years.” It is the gist of U.S. Representative Curt Weldon’s “Korea Peace Initiative” proposed in June 2003.

Weldon’s “Peace Initiative,” which consists of two steps and 10 items, was praised as a “creative idea” when the U.S.-North Korean relations were highly strained. Another ambitious plan Rep. Weldon is promoting in relation with North Korea is the “KoRus Project.” The project seeks to extend the pipelines that provide Sakhalin natural gas to reach South Korea via North Korea. It is known that when he mapped out the plan to the North Korean leadership during his visit to the North in May 2003, the leadership reacted positively.

Rep. Weldon is one of the less familiar figures concerning the Korean Peninsula. How could he get that idea? One vague clue was found on U.S. Rep. Weldon’s homepage. According to the introduction, he is a Russian expert who enthusiastically engaged in the improvement of the Russian energy distribution system, environmental pollution control, and others. He is also an expert on military or security matters who has been a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Then, could he be willing to apply to the North Korean issue his experience of indirectly supporting Russia’s social upheaval in the 1990’s?

Rep. Weldon will head a U.S. Congressional delegate into Pyongyang, North Korea next week. All the attention is on what he offers this time in the visit, which has been postponed since October 2003, as it will be made just before President Bush’s second inauguration. Nine-term Republican Congressman Weldon is known in the Congress for his “I-carry-through-what-I-intend-to-do” style. His next step deserves attention.

Song Moon-hong, Editorial writer, songmh@donga.com