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U.S. Officials Putting Constant Pressure on North Korea

Posted May. 04, 2005 23:36,   


Amid the rising tension between the United States and North Korea, further triggered by U.S. President George W. Bush’s criticism of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on April 28, the North’s response to Bush on April 30, and North Korea’s missile launch over the East Sea on May 1, high-ranking officials of the U.S. administration once again raised the level of pressure on North Korea in verbal statements made on Tuesday.

Joseph DeTrani, Special Envoy for Six-Party Talks from U.S. Department of State, said, “During the six-party talks, we will not only deal with the nuclear issue, but also with North Korea’s exports of drugs and distribution of counterfeit notes.”

During a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) seminar held in Washington D.C., DeTrani pointed out that “in order for U.S.-North Korean relations to normalize, we also have to deal with criminal acts committed by North Korea, such as drug trafficking and counterfeiting, along with the nuclear problem, during the six-party talks.”

During the U.S. House of Representatives’ “2005 Military Base Merger and Abolition Commission” hearing, David Gordon, vice chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, said, “As long as Kim Jong Il holds power, North Korea will be nothing but a troubling country,” adding, “North Korea’s habitual behavior of nuclear proliferation is already dangerous enough, but there’s the additional danger of the possibility North Korea might sell nuclear weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists in the future.”

Before this, the U.S. media reported Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s comment on May 2 that “the United States is equipped with all sorts of deterrence power,” interpreting it as an “unprecedented, powerful warning.”

On Monday, the CBS television network reported that “beneath the diplomatic frosting, it indicates that the United States can destroy North Korea.” Also, Fox News reported that “it means that U.S. can deal with any threat imposed by North Korea through conventional weapons or nuclear weapons.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Richard B. Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, answered the question: “What measures will be taken when North Korea attacks South Korea?” saying, “I have no doubt of a United States victory.”

In the recent issue of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research quarterly magazine, “Disarmament Forum,” Jack Pritchard, the former U.S. special envoy to North Korea, said, “If six-party talks are still deadlocked by December, the United States will officially discard the 1994 Geneva Treaty.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com