Bush Is Impatient for an End to the Nuclear Issue

first_img By Daily NK – 2008.04.23 11:45am SHARE Analysis & Opinion Facebook Twitter Bush Is Impatient for an End to the Nuclear Issue [imText1]The current Singapore Meeting between the U.S. and North Korea may result in nothing, if something additional were to be found during the verification process of the declaration. This is because the result of the meeting holds a lot of blind spots, especially in terms of a “complete” and “correct” declaration. Shin Sung Taek, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an expert on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), interviewed with the Daily NK on the 18th. He earned a Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has written many treatises on North Korean WMD proliferation and on nonproliferation measures. What do you think North Korea really intends to do? Since North Korea launched the construction of Yongbyon nuclear reactor in 1961, North Korea has had only one purpose, which is to “maintain the regime.” Before the nuclear experiment, North Korea followed a policy of maintaining the regime through the bluff that “We are developing nuclear weapons,” and now, they are taking the policy offensive as a “nuclear state.”How do you evaluate the result of the Singapore Meeting? Although the formality of the declaration may not be so important, “correction” and “completion” should be guaranteed for the declaration. In this context, it is really a disappointing result. I believe that this is because of the impatience of the Bush Administration.If something additional was found during the verification process, with the declaration as it is currently modified, all the achievements of the negotiations would be lost. This is because the result of the meeting holds a lot of blind spot especially in terms of the declaration being “complete” and “correct.”Can you explain the differences between the “plutonium way” and the “uranium way”? And, why is the declaration process is so significant? To put it simply, plutonium is an artificial element, which means it must be created through the reprocessing of fuel rods which were left over after use in the nuclear reactor. In this case, the concealment of nuclear development is not easily done because the facilities and equipment – a large-size nuclear reactor, reprocessing facilities, nuclear waste dump sites and others – are so huge. Uranium, on the contrary, is a natural material, so the process of extraction and enrichment is comparatively simple. Therefore, the development can proceed indoors and not much nuclear waste is produced. The complicated and huge facilities necessary to produce plutonium nuclear weapons are the biggest disadvantage and, at the same time, an advantage. A clear message, “We are developing nuclear weapons,” can be transmitted to the international community, as India and Pakistan once did. North Korea also intends to do so. They can lead negotiations and get more concessions from their counterparts in the negotiations if they show that they are producing nuclear weapons. In this context, North Korea should separately declare its programs. The extracted amount of plutonium can be exactly estimated, but in terms of uranium enrichment, it’s impossible to accurately estimate the amount of enriched uranium and to find out where they hide it. What do you think the most important point in the verification of the nonproliferation agreement is? [imText2]The reason why the North Korean nuclear connection with Syria mattered was because the connection with Iran was revealed to be more serious than with Syria as the result of the information analysis following the air bombing the Syria nuclear facility. The Yongbyon reactor is a Graphite-Moderated Reactor, which is known to nuclear experts as the “nuclear production reactor” and has been hard to obtain lately. The most significant point regarding the verification of nuclear nonproliferation is how sincerely North Korea declares it. Additionally, with Bush being impatient for an end to this issue, it is a worrisome possibility that the U.S. would verify it unfaithfully and untrustworthily. How do you predict the Six Party Talks will continue? I think the Six Party Talks will resume this year, because the initiative came about through the Singapore Meeting. Holding the talks is beneficial for both the Republicans and the Democrats as they face the presidential election ahead. Also, for the new South Korean administration, it would be good in many respects. On the other hand, there is a possibility that North Korea would suspend the talks again if McCain wins the election. What do you think the proper resolution of North Korean nuclear issue should be? So far, the international community has done what they can do. Although I think that two-party talks would be more effective in achieving results, when the fact that North Korea is the counterpart is considered, it is much better that over three parties participate in the talks. How do you evaluate the new administration’s policy on North Korea? The “Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness” is controversial, but I believe it is a delicate policy in which South Korea can properly support North Korea and also apply pressure. It is urgent to restore good relations between the South and the U.S. tweet AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? 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