Friday, February 03, 2006

Eastern Asia:

United States Considers Security Council Referral For North Korea
02 February 2006

MAIL AND GUARDIAN ONLINE (WASHINGTON) - North Korea's reluctance to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons program has fuelled speculation the United States may seek to refer the Stalinist state, like Iran, to the United Nations Security Council. Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator to the six-party nuclear talks, indicated on Wednesday that Washington might consider other options if North Korea stayed away from the stalled negotiations. Hill also stated that a diplomatic solution is certainly the best solution, but may not be the only solution. Some interpret Hill’s remarks as a signal to North Korea that it could face the same pressure applied to Iran if it refuses to honor its pledge to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. South Korea has continued expressing its concern about the financial sanctions the U.S. placed on North Korea. The South has recently made progress with the North and has come to odds with the U.S. over the sanctions.

Source Reliability: 5.0

Analysis: The U.S. is likely using the current situation with Iran to pressure North Korea into reconsidering its unwillingness to cooperate with the rest of the world regarding its nuclear program. If the U.N. sanctions Iran, North Korea may be more willing to cooperate.

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