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US, DPRK talks offer window into new leadership

By Zhang Liangui (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

09:33, February 27, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

High-level talks between DPRK and the United States held in Beijing on Feb. 23 have caught much attention as this is DPRK's first major diplomatic activity after Kim Jong-un took over the country's leadership.

Analysts said that the talks would provide a valuable window into possible changes in Pyongyang's domestic and foreign policies as well as in its pattern of behavior. It is worth noting that the talks were previously interrupted by the death of Kim Jong-il last December, and were resumed much earlier than many had expected, indicating both courtiers' eagerness to solve certain urgent issues through the meeting.

The U.S. government has made it clear that it wants to see what the new DPRK leadership is prepared to do, and whether Pyongyang will change its stance on certain major issues under the new leadership. In addition, it also wants to see whether DPRK is willing to fulfill obligations made in a joint statement on Sept. 19, 2005 to take practical steps to abandon its nuclear program, what the country's nuclear bottom line is, and what concessions the country is willing to make in exchange for aid and other things it needs.

Not long ago, DPRK declared "developing nuclear weapons" as one of the three "legacies" from Kim Jong-il, and announced that it was pure wishful thinking to expect the country to give up its nuclear program in exchange for aid, compensation, or anything else. The United States wants to know whether the announcement is a bluff or truth.

DPRK mainly wants to solve two urgent issues through the talks.

First, it seeks food assistance from the United States through exchange of interests at the meeting. As the spring lean season is looming.

Second, it wants to enhance communication and improve relations with the United States through the meeting, in hopes that Washington will get used to a nuclear DPRK. It aims to sign a peace treaty and establish diplomatic relations with the United States under the precondition of possessing nuclear weapons. In other words, it wants de facto recognition from the United States of its nuclear power status.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

Ron at 2012-03-01113.239.228.*
let DPRK eat their nukes. Maybe a little catchup will make them taste good
John at 2012-02-28113.231.240.*
If the DPRK wants to build nukes rather than feed it"s people that is their decision. There is no need for the US to feed them.

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