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North Korean Demands to Resume Talks Too High, Experts Say

  • Susan Yackee

Governments as well as military experts are calling for resumption of the six nation North Korean nuclear talks, but not on Pyongyang's terms.

North Korea has agreed to resume talks, but it has yet to set a date. It has also called for an end to international sanctions as a condition for resuming negotiations.

“We absolutely should resume the talks, but we should not do so under any circumstances,” says Peter Crail, a research analyst with the Arms Control Association."

He says the United States and the other four parties should be generally aligned on what is expected of North Korea, and that North Korean terms to return to the talks should be carefully examined.

"For better – for worse, (the six-party talks) are the best venue for addressing North Korea’s nuclear program, it’s relations with the United States and Japan and its place in the international system,” says analyst Richard Bush with the Brookings Institution. He adds, however, “they will only be successful if North Korea’s denuclearization is the primary item on the agenda.”

As far as when the talks might begin, Bush says he doesn't expect anything to happen within the next year. “I can’t rule it out," Bush says, "but I’m not optimistic.”

Bush says as long as the current North Korean leadership is in place, it will not be willing to have serious discussions about ending their nuclear programs and giving up their nuclear weapons.

The six-party discussions among the United States, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and North Korea ground to a halt in April of 2009 after the United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket.

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