Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:27 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:27 | SYDNEY

Rudd backs the 6PT mechanism


Sam Roggeveen


1 April 2008 09:28

At least one of my colleagues has strong feelings about the long-standing American proposal to turn the North Korea Six-Party Talks into a permanent regional security mechanism, and no doubt he is not best pleased that Kevin Rudd has endorsed the idea overnight. Rory's argument that you would not want a recalcitrant North Korea in such a body is a strong one. But in the longer term, a unified Korea would be a natural member. And such a mechanism might also provide the institutional backbone to a concept that scholars like Coral Bell and Hugh White have supported for some time: a regional concert of powers.

But I don't immediately see why the other six members would want Australia to be a part of it, given we are not actually in the Northeast Asian region. Maybe Rudd is backing this initiative now because he thinks it is inevitable, and he wants Australia to get in on the ground floor before anyone has a chance to ask what we're even doing on the elevator.