The Role of the Diplomatic Corps: the US-North Korea Talks in Beijing, 1988–94
On 21 October 1994 negotiations finally came to fruition between the United States and North Korea on the latter’s nuclear programme, which, especially after Pyongyang refused to permit full inspection of its facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1992, was feared to have a military character. The essence of the agreement reached1 was that Pyongyang would freeze its nuclear programme, accept full inspection of its nuclear facilities within five years, and resume the dialogue with South Korea on the implementation of a de-nuclearization agreement signed in 1991. In return, the United States and its allies (notably Japan and South Korea) would provide technical and financial support in order to help the North build safer reactors, provide free crude oil as an alternative energy source in the interim, and permit progress in the normalization of US-North Korean diplomatic relations via an exchange of representative offices. This important agreement undoubtedly reduced the very high level of tension on the peninsula generated when Pyongyang announced its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in March 1993. As a result, and notwithstanding inevitable hiccups in implementation and a resurgence of psychological warfare on the peninsula during 1995 and 1996, it has brought a measure of relief not only to the citizens of the two Koreas but to their near neighbours, notably China and Japan, and indeed to the world at large.
KeywordsAmid Propa Radar Malaysia Dispatch
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