Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kathleen Stephens, US Ambassador to ROK, told an ROK forum that US Special Envoy Stephen Bosworth will seek the DPRK’s return to the Six Party Talks and for the North Koreans to reaffirm the September 2005 joint statement. This was to be expected, and it remains up in the air whether the DPRK will actually return to the Six Party Talks.
Chosun Sinbo carries an op-ed entitled “The First Step of Denuclearization is ‘Establishment of Peace Guarantee System’–an End to DPRK-US Hostile Relations, the Most Pressing Task” which says in part: “It has been long since the armistice agreement that was signed in the 1950’s last century lost its mission and function. The armed clash between North and South that happened in the West Sea of Korea in November reconfirmed the Korean peninsula’s state of keen military tension. As long as there is concern over incidental clashes and the recurrence of war, the DPRK side cannot unilaterally abandon its self-defensive war deterrent. Beginning from 8 December, Special Representative Bosworth will visit Pyongyang in the capacity of President Obama’s special envoy. If the United States really means to resolve the nuclear issue while facing the reality of the Korean peninsula, the only way is to reach the conclusion that the establishment of a system for guaranteeing peace is the most urgent matter.”
This essay echoes a report out of Yomiuri Shimbun which says that during the Jack Prtichard (et al) trip to the DPRK, MOFA Director-General Ri Gun asked the American delegation for a peace treaty and economic investments. And according to an RFA interview with a member of the US delegation, Scott Snyder, Mr. Snyder was not certain whether the DPRK will return to the Six Party Talks.
All the while the ROK Foreign Ministry states that it will not accept a peace treaty between the US and DPRK.
So, one gets the sense there may be no room at the inn when US Special Envoy Bosworth arrives in Pyongyang on 8 December.