It was reported yesterday that the US had offered to remove North Korea from its list of states sponsoring terrorism, if the DPRK agreed to dismantle its nuclear program. With the talks failing to lead to any result, it’s clear that North Korea declined. The regime is not interested in soft power assets, but wants concrete ones like its financial operations resumed. This is why the regime insisted on the removal of financial sanctions.

Secretary General of the UN designate Ban Ki-moon commented the six-party talks of last week by saying that “the issue requires time and patience.” The South Korean politician vowed to work on resolving the crisis once he starts his new job in the UN.

Ban Ki-moon has a good point: the issue is more complicated than a week of talks can resume. After all, North Korea has won a big battle by testing its nuclear weapon. The US, on the other hand, has found an effective tool in financial sanctions. Ironically, it is because of these sanctions that the DPRK had no other avenue than to test its weapon; with the test, the talks have resumed with the US and other states willing to be in dialogue with North Korea.

Finding a way to reconciliate the two positions will be difficult, considering that both the US and North Korea have certain strategic advantages in the negotiations. It will probably be up to one of the other states in the talks to take the first big step in the negotiations by offering a significant incentive, something North Korea and the US are not prepared to do.

Dmitri Marine blogs on Blogue North

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