Tuesday, March 25, 2003
U.S. EXPERTS: U.S. SHOULD "TEST NORTH KOREA'S INTENTIONS" BY TALKING TO NORTH KOREA
A group of prominent US experts on Korea has challenged the Bush administration's rejection of direct negotiations with the DPRK, saying the US should begin talks to test the communist government's willingness to give up its nuclear program. The group includes four former ambassadors, three former top-ranking military officers, missile experts, academics and specialists who have offered a strategy to break the deadlock between Washington and the DPRK government in Pyongyang. The administration has said it will not negotiate until the DPRK agrees to dismantle its programs to develop nuclear weapons, and then will talk only in a multinational group. The DPRK insists on direct negotiations with the US. "There was division on the task force about whether it was too late to try to negotiate with North Korea," said the chairman of the group, Selig S. Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, a Washington research organization. But to discover what is possible, he said, "there was complete agreement that the first steps have to be in direct, bilateral negotiations between the DPRK and the US."They say that insanity is persisting in the same behavior while expecting a different outcome. Why should we expect anything other than the behavior we have seen in rounds of negotiations throughout the 1990's?