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US Envoy Bosworth to Visit N. Korea for Just 2 Days

Posted November. 21, 2009 20:12,   


U.S. special envoy to North Korea Steven Bosworth will reportedly arrive in Pyongyang Dec. 8 for two days with a delegation of four to five members.

Many analysts say the visit will focus on conveying the U.S. stance to North Korea rather than holding specific negotiations.

A U.S. State Department official said Thursday that Bosworth will stay in Pyongyang for one and a half days with a delegation numbering four to five members.”

Washington decided to make Bosworth’s visit short and his delegation a small working-level team given the focus on persuading Pyongyang into returning to the six-party talks.

The delegation will include Sung Kim, the chief U.S. negotiator to the six-party talks, and one of two National Security Council officials, namely Jeffrey A. Bader, senior director for Asian affairs, or adviser Daniel Russell. Chances are high that Derek Mitchell, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, will also go.

Mitchell is close to Bosworth and graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where Bosworth is dean.

A diplomatic source in Washington said, “The schedule for the North Korea visit focuses on conveying a strong message from the Obama administration that Pyongyang must first to return to the six-party talks, rather than holding new negotiations to hint at the possibility of giving North Korea something.

“Washington seems to have judged that Bosworth has no specific reason to stay in North Korea for a longer period.”

Diplomats in Washington, however, say chances are high that North Korea will insist on taking part in multilateral talks in phases, including three- and four-way talks, before immediately returning to the six-party dialogue.

Washington, however, is determined not to hold bilateral talks with Pyongyang for long without results. Considering this, both sides could hold another round of talks.