According to this Chosun Ilbo report, North Korea recently floated a novel interpretation of “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” under which it could, you know, keep its nuclear weapons. I wonder what they expected:
The assistant secretary of state made it clear that Washington’s goal is complete denuclearization saying, “The U.S. will not form any kind of ties with a nuclear-armed North Korea. He stipulated that “the case of India (which signed a nuclear pact despite possessing nuclear programs) will not apply to North Korea. [Dong-A Ilbo]
That’s an excerpt from a speech and Q&A by Chris Hill at Georgetown, which contains too many interesting remarks for me to discuss here fully. Hill also brought up human rights again:
“If the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea is to improve, Pyongyang will have to meet international standards. They need to improve their human rights conditions while having sincere talks over this matter. This is a requirement not only to have better relations with Washington, but also to be integrated into the international society. Isn’t it true that it is necessary to improve ties with the EU?”
I’m skeptical, mainly because Hill is so accomplished at deforming the meaning of his own words. On the subject of the six-party talks, and how North Korea’s behavior has bogged them down, Hill was blunt and cranky.
At the Chosun Ilbo story linked above, and at this Donga Ilbo story, South Korea’s abandonment issues about North Korea’s nuclear arsenal generate more discussion via former Korean Ambassador to the United States Han Seung-Joo. I wonder how long until Korea begins to whine about what a loyal ally it has been. Still, if you think through the end result here, you may not want to enjoy South Korea’s new sense of insecurity for long. The idea of South Korea building its own nukes scares me plenty.
Speaking of ties with the EU, the EU has just approved sanctions pursuant to UNSCR 1718.
The sanctions include a ban on the sale or export of all materials that could be used in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, or in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.
The EU also froze the assets abroad of some North Korean officials and banned exports to the country of luxury goods like caviar, truffles, high-quality wines and perfumes, and pure bred horses. [Agence France-Presse]
A petty dispute over Gibraltar had held up the implementation of sanctions. If you wonder what non-dietary uses North Korea might have for pure-bred horses, I suspect they’d end up here. The “fl” placemarks show the triple fencing around the place, and the “G” placemarks are gates.
You can see two of the fencelines and the bunkers along them here,
The large oval object appears to be a horse track.
It’s not marked, “Kim Jong Il, the Lodestar of the Universe, lives here,” but the extraordinary security and luxury of the place suggest as much (did I mention the anti-aircraft missile sites and the airfield?). I hope to do a more complete GE tour of this place some time, along with some of the other high-end real estate on this highway, north and east of Pyongyang.