If this report is correct then what China and North Korea have in mind for multilateral talks is basically two sides with North Korea and China on one side and the United States and South Korea on the other. It is sort of a form of paired bilateralism.
North Korea and China do not want Japan and Russia to take part in multilateral talks on the North's suspected nuclear arms plans, the Korea Herald newspaper reported yesterday.
What they want is talks where two major powers would bring their client states to the table. The problem is that North Korea is as much of a threat to Japan as it is to the United States and Japan is very worried about North Korea's nuclear, chemical, and missile development programs. Also, the US should insist on a Japanese presence because the threat of a Japanese military build-up is one of the cards that should be displayed prominently to the Chinese. The Chinese know that the South Korea government favors appeasement and so a meeting of just the US, China, North Korea and South Korea would put the US in the position of being the odd man out.
This report is not a good sign. The intent appears to be to reduce the pressure on North Korea. The United States should reject this formula for negotiations.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 April 15 11:15 AM Politics Grand Strategy|