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Pres. Lee Proposes ‘Grand Bargain’ for NK Nukes

Posted September. 22, 2009 08:42,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday proposed a “grand bargain” to persuade North Korea to get rid of its nuclear program.

In New York to attend a U.N. conference on climate change and the U.N. General Assembly, he said, “We must seek a grand bargain that eliminates the critical part of North Korea’s nuclear program through the six-party talks while offering it security and international assistance.”

President Lee made the comment at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Korea Society, the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations.

“North Korea’s nuclear issue has been swinging between conversation and tension and has repeated the cycle of progress, retreat and delay. We must break this pattern of the past,” he said.

“We should not repeat the same mistake of the past two decades. Setting aside the handling of the essential problem of complete abandonment of North Korea’s nuclear program, we agreed with North Korea to freeze its nuclear facilities, compensated it, and came full circle after Pyongyang broke its promise.”

He added, “We need more specific discussions among the five parties (excluding North Korea) on an agreement governing the final stage of North Korea’s nuclear abandonment and action plans to achieve those goals, and the need for an integrated approach to resolve the nuclear issue on a fundamental level.”

The basic concept of the “grand bargain” is to end the nuclear problem through a deal with all things – what North Korea hates to give up most and what it wants most – on one table. In other words, the “one-shot deal” will guarantee the security of the North Korean regime and provide assistance simultaneously after negotiations ensure the irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear program and immediate implementation.

On the specifics of removing the critical part of Pyongyang’s nuclear program, a presidential office source said, “This means a measure clearly showing North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear program. Measures such as sending Pyongyang’s nuclear substances or weapons offshore or abandoning them can be proposed.”

The source also said the safety pledge would be a de facto guarantee of North Korea’s communist regime.

Presidential office spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said, “The grand bargain means a fundamental and comprehensive big deal addressing the North Korean nuclear issue under the larger context of North Korean issues, and this is President Lee Myung-bak’s fundamental solution to the nuclear issue.”