December 13, 2009

Time to Break the Impasse in Korean Peninsula Security Talks

OK, now that "ice-breaking" and "saving face" are done, with the much-anticipated US special envoy Amb. Stephen Bosworth's visit to Pyongyang (photo shows the Bosworth team in Seoul after the NK visit), can we move towards more concrete steps on North Korea's denuclearization and US-North Korea normalization issues? The visit resulted in vague references to agreements on "common grounds" and "positive" movement towards resumption of multilateral talks on denuclearization as well as the stalled four-party talks on replacing the Korean War Armistice to a permanent peace mechanism.

Boosting this somewhat optimistic mood are the signs that other related nations are also moving forward towards reconciliation, as the new Japanese administration is exploring a resumption of stalled talks with North Korea, and inter-Korean relations may see some sign of resuming as North Korea accepted South Korea's offer of anti-flu medicine to deal with an H1N1 flu outbreak in North Korea.

Perhaps these developments will help bring a mutually-satisfactory settlements in early 2010.

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