Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 20:11 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 20:11 | SYDNEY


Malcolm Cook

23 November 2007 08:08

There seem to be many people in Australia keen to see the 6-party talks on North Korea develop into a permanent regional security body; one that is more targetted, coherent and effective than the oft-dismissed ASEAN Regional Forum. On top of this, they promote the idea that Australia should be included as the 'new seventh member' because of our deep interests in Northeast Asia. Yet, while discussing regional architecture issues with people in China, they seem slightly taken aback that Australia might see itself as a potential member of a Northeast Asian regional security body. The three people that have brought up this issue with me on this visit to China have all noted that Australia is in the south Pacific, far away from Northeast Asia, and that Mongolia might be a more natural candidate for the extension of the 6-party talks to a seventh.

It seems that ambitions for Australian membership in an expanded 6-party talks body will face many challenges, even that of being beaten to the punch by Ulan Bator.