Sunday, March 25, 2007

U.S. Once Again Sabotaging Negotiations With N. Korea?

As I have stated here before, the U.S. does not seem interested or willing to make peace with N. Korea. Everytime a breakthrough seems close, the U.S. finds a way to throw a wrench into the negotiations.

The U.S. benefits from having a boogeyman in Asia. The U.S. Military Industrial Complex makes money from having a North Korea armed to the teeth. This provides the incentive for Japan, S. Korea, and other nations to buy U.S. military equipment.

(The U.S. now seems to be reneging on a committment made in negotiations to free up North Korean funds that were frozen as part of sanctions).

From Reuters
March 23, 2007

Talks on North Korea's nuclear program ground to a halt yesterday.

The North Korean and Russian envoys both left for the airport after four days of negotiations that had gone nowhere.

North Korea has avoided discussing a February deal to shut its main nuclear reactor by the middle of next month since the talks began on Monday, demanding that $US25 million frozen in a Macau bank first be transferred to a bank in Beijing.

North Korean envoy Kim Kye-gwan did not talk to reporters as he entered the airport to catch one of the three scheduled weekly flights to Pyongyang from Beijing.
An evidently exasperated US envoy, Christopher Hill, said the delay in the transfer from Macau's Banco Delta Asia needed to be overcome.

"The day I'm able to explain to you North Korean thinking is probably the day I've been in this process too long," he said as he stepped out for talks with China's envoy, Wu Dawei.

Attention Mr. Hill.... You made a committment to release these funds as part of the agreement that had been reached. The fact that someone actually expects the U.S. to keep its promises seems to be a surprise to you.

Hours before the talks stalled, American aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan arrived in South Korea for joint military exercises that North Korea has condemned as a rehearsal for an invasion.

Carrying more than 5000 crew, the nuclear-powered ship docked at the southeastern port of Pusan for weeklong war games that begin on Sunday, involving 29,000 US troops and an undisclosed number of South Korean soldiers.

The US and South Korea characterise the annual drills as purely defensive.
But North Korean state media have routinely criticised the exercises in recent weeks, labelling them a preliminary war aimed at mounting a surprise nuclear attack on the communist nation.

The North also claims the drills run counter to efforts to resolve the standoff over its nuclear program through dialogue.


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