Diplomacy Six-Party Talks

Agreed Framework III Watch: Syd Seiler steps down

Yonhap is reporting that Syd Seiler, the State Department’s Special Envoy to the long-defunct six-party denuclearization talks, has stepped down and returned to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The move was unexpected enough that an e-mail from a Yonhap reporter to Seiler bounced back, with an out-of-office message saying that Seiler …

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Diplomacy Sanctions Six-Party Talks

U.S., allies talk sanctions and human rights (emphasis on talk)

We’d hardly had time to digest all those rumors of “exploratory talks” with North Korea just two weeks ago, before John Kerry was in Seoul, sounding like his speechwriters had slipped him some cut-and-pasted OFK text. There, Kerry denounced Pyongyang’s “recent provocations,” said it wasn’t “even close to” ready for serious about talks, and accused it of …

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"United" Nations Appeasement Diplomacy Six-Party Talks

On progressive diplomacy: Friends first, frenemies second, enemies last

Aside from the vanishingly small chance of Agreed Framework III, the foundation of our North Korea policy, as set forth in a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions, is multilateral economic pressure. That means that all hope of success rests on building multilateral unity before we negotiate with Pyongyang. Every time Seoul, Tokyo, or Washington is taken …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Iran Six-Party Talks

On Iran & N Korea: A good deal can’t overcome bad judgment

As the Obama Administration works toward an agreed framework with Iran, a curious division is emerging among its defenders. On one hand, the administration and its supporters are understandably rejecting comparisons to the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea. The State Department insists that “[t]he comprehensive deal we are seeking to negotiate with Iran is fundamentally different than what …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Six-Party Talks Terrorism/Iraq

On Chris Hill in Iraq: “It was frightening how a person could so poison a place.”

I had long wondered why, after a difficult confirmation battle for the post, Chris Hill’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq was so brief. A friend (thank you) points me to this lengthy article in Politico, adapted from The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, by Emma Sky, that does much to explain the brevity of Hill’s tenure, and much more. In …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Iran Proliferation Six-Party Talks WMD

Three Pinocchios for Glenn Kessler’s “fact-check” on North Korea

If only for prudential reasons, 47 Republican Senators should not have written to Iran’s Supreme Leader. We only have one President at a time, and only the President should negotiate with foreign leaders. Parallel, shadow-government negotiations with foreign adversaries are wrong when Republican Senators do it; they were just as wrong when Jim Wright met with Daniel Ortega, when Nancy Pelosi met …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Six-Party Talks

President Obama can’t explain what his N. Korea executive order does

The bottom North Korea story of the day is that Pyongyang, which denies having anything to do with the Sony cyberattacks, has just threatened us with cyberattacks. The North’s military will ratchet up its “retaliatory action of justice” by use of every possible means, including the nation’s “smaller, precision and diversified” nuclear striking means and …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Six-Party Talks

Chris Hill’s North Korea legacy in three concise paragraphs

Here, via Yonhap, where Hill takes credit for the idea of blowing up the cooling tower at Yongbyon. The North’s destruction of the cooling tower briefly raised hopes for real progress in the six-party talks aimed at ending the North’s nuclear program, but the negotiating process later reached a deadlock over how to verify the North’s …

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Anju Links Media Criticism Sanctions Six-Party Talks Washington Views

Former Obama Admin. official: Our N. Korea sanctions are weak and our policy is stuck

The Obama Administration’s North Korea team is stuck. Its thirst for fresh blood is so dire that it recently asked Keith Richards whether he still has the number of that secret clinic in Switzerland.* Don’t take my word for it. Last Friday, former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell spoke at the Center for Strategic …

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Foreigners in N. Korea Six-Party Talks Terrorism (NK)

Only terrorists make hostage videos, and North Korea just made a hostage video

… of three Americans it is holding for “crimes” that wouldn’t be cognizable as such anywhere else on earth.  All three men said they hope the U.S. government will send an envoy to North Korea to help get them out of their situations, similar to how former President Bill Clinton helped secure the release of …

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Appeasement Diplomacy Six-Party Talks U.S. Politics

Congress marks 20th anniversary of Agreed Framework I, asks how that’s working out

The House Asia-Pacific Subcommittee commemorated the 20th anniversary of Agreed Framework I by calling Ambassadors Glyn Davies and Bob King over for a hearing this afternoon, and it was a tough day for Team Foggy Bottom. If you want to see how congressional oversight should work — if you want to see a well-informed, well-prepared legislator completely, verifiably, …

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Diplomacy Six-Party Talks

Untrained eyes fail to perceive John Kerry’s North Korea “progress”

~   1   ~ BRUCE KLINGNER OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION asks, “You call this progress, Secretary Kerry?” Kerry cites his meetings with China regarding North Korea, yet Beijing continues to resist U.S. entreaties to increase pressure on Pyongyang by more fully implementing UN resolution sanctions. In the meantime, Pyongyang continues to refine and augment …

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Abductions Diplomacy Japan Six-Party Talks

Coalition against N. Korea crumbles due to U.S. incompetence, betrayal, and weakness

Last week, Japan and North Korea announced an agreement under which Pyongyang would “conduct a comprehensive survey” of the whereabouts of “Japanese spouses, victims of abduction and mission persons,” both dead and alive, and return them to Japan. In exchange, “Japan has announced that it is lifting sanctions against North Korea on travel, reporting remittances …

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