Power And Dollar

What Does North Korea’s Six-Party Talk Matter?

North Korea is the next news item after G8.  Six-party talk starts on 07.10.  This is expected to be a minister level meeting.  Therefore, some big items are to be discussed.  Bush needs to accomplish something more than Iraq and Afganistan.  North Korea also wants to cash out something out of a desperate President and then start the next round of talks.  Some results will come out before11.04.  Some real progress can be made in the next Six-Party talk.  What does it matter? 

 

This will produce a lot of long term effect.  Short terms are logistics and symbolic, such as an agreement, declaration of some sort (peace), exchanging offices, etc.

 

A minister level meeting is an indication that a conclusion is in sight.  This is not just about sanctions, economic aid or light water reactor.  They are, literally small potatoes, for a minister level meeting.  Will the end of Korean War finally be an agenda item?  Finalizing the border between North and South Koreas? 

 

If these questions are on the table, then the outcome will give us a sketch of what the unification process for North and South Koreas will be.  If the meeting will not reach to that point, then it would be interesting to see what derails since Japan has no clout in Six-Party talk; South Korea has no position against North Korea; China is generally believed to want a nuclear free Korea peninsula. 

 

Of course, if all goes well, South Korea can finally convince itself that peace is here.  Fiscal spending can decrease.  The ripple effect will be: what about the military bases?  If they will stay, who pays?  The same question can be asked about the bases in Japan.  What will China’s position be in the middle of all this?

 

What about the border that defines South Korea and Japan?  If there will be mutual recognition of the two Koreas, they need to agree to each other’s boundary.  What will North Korea’s position on the border dispute between Japan and South Korea?  Will North Korea even drag the WW2 war crime into the agenda too?  How far will and can North Korea stretch Japan?  What is the price to pay to get the Japanese abductees back to Japan?

 

Or, will the talk turn first to the commercial projects?  Does Russia want more investors at the eastern end of Siberia?  How is that Siberia oil pipeline going?  Will this be a pre-text for some Northeast Asia security mechanism or trust building exercise?  Will this bring up the border dispute between Russia and Japan? 

 

Any kind of Northeast Asia security mechanism leads to re-balancing the response time of US military.  How will Japan react to that?  Since these border disputes are created by the final days of WW2, will the end of Six – Party talk pull out a long overdue clean-up talk?  That is something Japan wants to avoid badly.

 

 

If Okinawan independence movement is an institutionalized movement, then this is the time to plot their moves.  The end of Six – Party inevitably leads to Taiwan Strait, another WW2 antique problem. 

 

If so, a behind the scene negotiation between China and America is the real determinant.  In that context, North Korea is really the pivot of a lot of things.

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July 10, 2008 - Posted by | Current Events, Japan, korea, opinion, politics, wordpress-political-blogs, 台灣, 国事, 天下事, 中國

2 Comments »

  1. South Korea calls for new talks with N Korea and on an unrelated matter (?) Japan and S. Korea argue over islets http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/14/asia/korea.php

    Comment by Alfie | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  2. that’s the point of the paragraph “What about the border that defines South Korea and Japan….” north korea can make this dispute even worse.

    Comment by royho | July 14, 2008 | Reply


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