Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 05:13 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 05:13 | SYDNEY

Pyongyang petulance


Malcolm Cook

14 November 2008 12:43

Awhile ago, there was a debate on The Interpreter and the ANU’s East Asia Forum about the pros and cons of the latest deal struck between Washington and Pyongyang and then presented to the other members of the Six-Party Talks. I focussed on the potential strategic cons, while East Asia Forum retorted with the supposed pros.

Alas, for the supporters of the latest deal, pithily called the ‘get real’ school of diplomacy by East Asia Forum's Peter Drysdale, it appears Pyongyang believes it has reached a much different and more favourable agreement with Christopher Hill than the one American officials told us about. Basically, North Korea is saying it only agreed to what it has already offered before, nothing new, and only after it gets all the fuel it has been promised for progress it has not followed through on.

If this deal really has kept North Korea 'on track to denuclearisation', it seems that Pyongyang continues to be walking backwards on this track and not forward.