Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A short chronology of DPRK-US nuclear weapons negotiations 2010-12

February 2010
  • U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe meets with North Korea's president and foreign minister and "argue[s] strongly that the six-party talks should be resumed without preconditions or further delay."
  • On February 13, North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan arrives in Beijing and strongly pushes for a trip to the United States in March, but the U.S. does not authorized a visa for him.
  • February 15 North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, states that North Korea will end hostile relation with U.S. through dialogue and negotiations.

March 2010
  • 26 March 2010, ROK Corvette Cheonan is scuttled

May 2010
  • Kim Jong-Il publicly supports cooperation “towards moving for a resumption of the Six-Party process.” Meanwhile, Clinton tours Asia.

June 2010

August 2010
  • Kim Jong-il expresses hopes for early resumption of six-party nuclear talks during his trip to China

November 2010
  • Special Representative Stephen Bosworth travels to Beijing to discuss the DPRK’s clandestine uranium enrichment program.
  • Yeonpyeong Island is shelled.

January 2011
  • North Korea invites South Korea to begin negotiations on inter-Korean trade; however, Seoul makes a counteroffer to discuss the sinking of the Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeongdo. Pyongyang agrees to meet in February.

February 2011
  • US NGOs observe signs of a severe food crisis in parts of North Korea
  • The first Inter-Korean military negotiation sine the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan starts and promptly collapses as the North Korean delegation storms out

March 2011
  • The US demands a show of seriousness by the North Koreans as a prerequisite for the resumption of negotiations.

May 2011
  • Special Envoy for North Korea Human Rights Ambassador Robert King and the USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Jon Brause travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from May 24th to 28th to explore the possibility of extending food aid.

July 2011
  • Kim Kye-gwan arrives in New York on July 27, 2011 for negotiations “designed to explore the willingness of North Korea to take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization.” Talks conclude without any substantive changes, but characterized as exploratory and constructive. Bosworth states that “before deciding our next steps to resume the process, the United States will consult closely with the Republic of Korea and our other partners in the six-party talks”
  • South and North Korean representatives meet in Indonesia to discuss prospects for restarting the 6 party talks

August 2011
  • US and the DPRK agree to discuss the search and repatriation of remains of US troops killed in North Korean territory during the Korean War
  • During his meeting with President Medvedev in Ulan Ude on August 24, Kim Jong Il promised to work on introducing a moratorium on testing and spent nuclear fuel processing. Senior Washington official states that the offer was “welcome but ... insufficient” to return to the negotiating tables.

September 2011
  • Top nuclear negotiators from North and South Korea meet in Beijing to discuss terms of restarting the 6 Party talks
  • On September 23, North Korea expresses interest in continuing negotiations with the US in October

October 2011
  • October 24, Bosworth meets with DPRK vice foreign minister Kim Kye-gwan in Geneva “to determine if North Korea is prepared to implement its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks
  • No significant breakthroughs in denuclearization negotiations. Bosworth states he is “neither optimistic nor pessimistic”
  • October 26, the US government is reportedly preparing to resume food aid to North Korea, but will stagger the aid in a series of deliveries. A source close to the North tells Yonhap News that Washington plans to restart the humanitarian assistance that stalled in 2008.
  • Mounting criticism that the US is coupling food aid with successful negotiations with the DPRK.

December 2011
  • Kim Jong-Il dies, but Pyongyang approves the continuation of negotiations. New York channel used to continue negotiations.

February 2012
  • North Korea makes a list of demands that South Korea must fulfill before resuming negotiations including the cancellation of joint American-South Korean military exercises. South Korea does not budge and the exercises are conducted on schedule
  • Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan leaves Pyongyang on February 21 for the 3rd round of talks with U.S. officials in Beijing.

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