Are the six party talks a waste of time? Pyongyang won’t give up its nukes, says Choe Tae Bok

Choe Tae Bok
Choe Tae Bok

We all have our private thoughts on that question.

The Chatham House talk this week (29 March) by Choe Tae Bok, Speaker of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly, was off the record, so I have not reported anything specific from the event. But given the timing of the visit, coinciding with the implementation of the Libyan no-fly zone by the UN, it was perhaps no surprise that the question arose about the DPRK attitude to events in North Africa.

Choe referred us to the official statement by the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued on 22 March 2011. It can be summarised as follows: Libya was a fool to give up its WMDs and the DPRK won’t make the same mistake.

A very Thucydidean approach. So I can’t see much progress being made in the six party talks if the aim is denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Denounces US Military Attack on Libya
Pyongyang, March 22 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry gave the following answer to a question raised by KCNA Tuesday as regards the U.S. military attack on Libya:

The U.S. launched a military attack on Libya in collusion with some Western countries on March 19.

It openly interfered in the internal affairs of Libya, sparking off a civil war, and then cooked up a deceptive resolution by abusing the authority of the UN Security Council. It finally perpetrated indiscriminate armed intervention in the country, going beyond the limits of the resolution.

The DPRK strongly denounces this as a wanton violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state and a hideous crime against humanity in gross breach of the dignity of the Libyan people and their right to existence.

Such war action can never be justified and should be halted at once.

The world is witnessing almost everyday the miserable death of a great many peaceable citizens and unspeakable disasters caused by two wars launched by the U.S. in the new century.

Not content with this, the U.S. sparked a fresh war disaster in order to bring about a regime change in the country incurring its displeasure under the spurious signboard of “protecting civilians” and put the natural resources of Libya under its control.

The U.S. does not hesitate to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and launch armed invasion by abusing the UN name in disregard of the sovereignty of independent states. Such high-handed and arbitrary practices of the U.S. have become a root cause of harassing world peace and stability at present.

The present Libyan crisis teaches the international community a serious lesson.

It was fully exposed before the world that “Libya’s nuclear dismantlement” much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as “guarantee of security” and “improvement of relations” to disarm itself and then swallowed it up by force.

It proved once again the truth of history that peace can be preserved only when one builds up one’s own strength as long as high-handed and arbitrary practices go on in the world.

The DPRK was quite just when it took the path of Songun and the military capacity for self-defence built up in this course serves as a very valuable deterrent for averting a war and defending peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

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