A Reality Check Next for DPRK-US Relations

The Chosun Daily might understand that the Obama administration is skeptical about the Six-Party Talks format, but its perceived solution – it’s Beijing’s responsibility – is becoming more shibboleth than plan.

…some skeptics there argue that the six-party talks are useless and have only aggravated the situation while giving the North Korea breathing space to develop its weapons. This was reflected in a recent remark by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who said the U.S. is interested in a “new way” that could generate more positive results than the six-way talks.

The Dear Leader’s Far-Sighted, Nostalgic Voyage

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/437586.htmlNow that Kim Jong-il has returned from the PRC’s northeastern provinces, and former US President, Jimmy Carter has negotiated for the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, what is clear is, that the DPRK doesn’t want to denuclearize, even if it might return to Six-Party Talks.

August Links Dump

Teaser: the hypocrisy of praising sex, Noynoy’s follies, the entertaining Koreas, nuclear Japan, and Tyler Cowen defending Bruce Cumings

Selling What Japan, Inc. Has Left

It’s not that I don’t think geopolitical fears of Beijing’s rise are driving Tokyo’s drive to sign civilian nuclear deals with India, but that Joshua Keating talks about everything but Japan, Inc.’s pressure to compete against its foreign rivals. And, why make hay of anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan; can it really stop a deal?

Japan’s willingness to cooperate on nuclear energy with India is a pretty good indication of how China’s military and economic rise has changed the equation for its neighbors.

The very article Keating produces is mostly about international corporate competition in the nuclear industry, not about nukes.

Plame Watched A.Q. Khan

Ignoring the scintillating topic of Valerie Plame’s nails and much else in this interview, I have to scream now: Plame thinks A.Q. Khan was only worth ‘watching’.

I thought one of the most interesting personalities that came up in the documentary was A. Q. Khan. How was he left unchecked for so many years and left to do so much damage? Are we still seeing the fallout?

The Horrible Waste and Destruction of Two Atomic Bombs

I want to write more – as well as do more reading – but right now this comment I’ve left at Roy Berman’s post on “Hiroshima bombing anniversary” is my most recent statement on the significance of the two atomic blasts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. More and more, I view both as unnecessary war crimes.

Continuing what M-Bone said, I think it’s important to view the A-Bomb not as only a military weapon, but as a means to a diplomatic strategy the US implemented to frustrate the Japanese.

A Korean Woman’s Perspective on August 6, 1945 in Nagasaki

It’s the anniversary of a moral atrocity, around which ethical rationalizations perennially swirl. What one Korean woman thinks is nut that remarkable, But, the record of past prejudices should be burned indelibly in our memories.

Born in South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province, Kwon came to Japan around 1930.

She was only 19 years old and happened to be at a construction company where her husband was employed about 1.8 kilometers away from the bomb’s hypocenter in the neighborhood of Inasamachi, Nagasaki, when the bomb exploded.

Supporting Seoul’s Need to Reprocess Nuclear Fuel

Seoul and Washington are kicking the nuclear reprocessing can down the hill – until this autumn.

Korea and the United States have agreed to start talks about the revision of a bilateral atomic energy agreement this fall, it emerged on Monday. Seoul is keen to reprocess its own spent fuel rods, which it is barred from doing under the agreement, but Washington has so far been reluctant to permit it since the process results in the production of weapons-grade plutonium.

But in a meeting Monday with senior Foreign Ministry officials in Seoul, Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department’s special advisor for non-proliferation and arms control, apparently signaled willingness to consider Seoul’s proposal to use a process known as pyroprocessing, which does not produce plutonium that is pure enough for nuclear weapons.

Obama Riffs on Bush As Pyongyang Stays on Tempo

Generally, I think sanctions have little effect except to please domestic constituencies in the sanctioning state and to give other states opportunities to fill the void. That’s why I generally agree with Tad Farrell’s yawning acknowledgment of the Obama administration’s burst of sanctions activity on Pyongyang.

As some analysts have already commented, this new round of U.S sanctions will likely be regarded as “meaningless” by the DPRK.

With Friends Like New Delhi

Brian Fung is rightly bewildered by the DPRK’s barter trade with India for oil, but a mere $2 million in another category is enough to wreck a friendship.

Perhaps a little more attention is in order since India is selling more than mere oil to North Korea. Last year, according to Indian trade data, India also exported $2 million in goods in a category called “nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances”–most likely water pumps, computer data storage units, ball bearings and machine tools. Could they be used to maintain a nuke plant in some way? Maybe.

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