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President Bush “Persuading North Korea to Give up on its Nuclear Ambitions”

President Bush “Persuading North Korea to Give up on its Nuclear Ambitions”

Posted February. 03, 2005 23:01,   


On February 2, U.S. President George W. Bush said in his State of the Union address to the nation, “Based on close cooperation with Asian nations, the U.S. is persuading North Korea to give up on its nuclear ambitions.”

The expression, “persuading North Korea,” is interpreted to mean stronger emphasis on negotiation with the North than his previous remarks: “will not accept it” (2002) and “will request for scrap” (2004); putting more weight on diplomatic settlement of the issue through the six-party talks.

North Korea said to the U.S. congressional delegates, who recently visited North Korea, “Decisions will be made after hearing President Bush’s address to the nation whether or not the six-party talks can resume.” It hints a possibility that the six-party talks, which have been drifting for the past eight months, might resume.

On growing concerns over North Korea’s possible export of nuclear materials, President Bush said, “The U.S. is carrying out the proliferation security initiative (PSI) [on weapons of mass destruction] in cooperation with 60 nations in order to prevent [overseas] transfer of dangerous materials [that North Korea possesses].”

In addition, on Iran arousing suspicion over nuclear development programs, he criticized, “It is a terrorism supporter, pursuing nuclear development ambitions and oppressing the public at the same time.” However, he emphasized solidarity with Europe, which has been raising its voice over the need to negotiate with Iran, hinting at the possibility for diplomatic settlement.

President Bush said again, “It is only the freedom of the people that prevents tyranny and terrorism and changes hatred into hope,” repeatedly highlighting the paradigm of “spreading freedom all over the world,” mentioned at his inauguration speech on January 20.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com