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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

19 September 2005

Six-party talks agreement

North Korea has announced its willingness to give up all its nuclear activities and rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty; America, in turn, has committed to not attack North Korea (1). In principle, this is not surprising; I have written elsewhere why North Korea would probably be amenable to abandoning its nuclear weapons (Nuclear Hermits, 16 July 05).

What is necessary now is to avoid the fate of the 1994 Framework Agreement, which both sides delayed in implementing. While a deal on electricity, aid, security, and nuclear weapons forms the cornerstone for any meaningful agreement, the success will ultimately hinge on how North Korea can be integrated into the world. That is why the normalization of relations with America and Japan, and the promises “to promote economics cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and investment, bilaterally or multilaterally” are the key parts of this agreement.

The parties have agreed to meet again in November to discuss this issue further. While the more pressing issues will need to be resolved (particularly about inspections), it is success in the broader themes that will make or break today’s agreement.

References
(1) Full text of Agreement @ BBC News (link)    

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