Nuclear moratorium deal with US no hint of N Korean policy shift
BEIJING NORTHKorea’s willingness to cut a surprise deal with the United States on the future of its nuclear programme does not signal any policy shift by the reclusive state’s young new leader, a source with links to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also warned against applying pressure similar to sanctions on Iran to get it to jettison its nuclear ambitions, saying any perceived insincerity from Washington would quickly drive Pyongyang from the table.
Just weeks after Kim Jongun succeeded his father, North Korea agreed with the United States last week to suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests, uranium enrichment at a nuclear facility, and to allow nuclear inspectors back.
At the same time Washington pledged to resume food aid.
Despite the agreement, the source said not to read too much into it. “There has been no change (in policy). The door has always been open” from Pyongyang’s perspective, he said.
The source has correctly predicted events in the past, telling about the North’s first nuclear test in 2006 before it took place.
The secretive state still clings to the teachings of Kim’s grandfather, the late Kim Ilsung, whose ultimate goals include a peace treaty, the removal of nuclear weapons from both Koreas, and diplomatic recognition from Washington, he said.
The United States, which has nearly 30,000 troops in the South, says it has no nuclear weapons on the peninsula.
From Pyongyang’s perspective, last week’s deal was possible because it believed that the United States was the one that returned to the table willing to make concessions.
“In the past, either the United States did not trust North Korea or deliberately made North Korea an enemy.
The United States straightened out its thinking this time,” the source told , explaining the North Korean view.
The two sides have held nuclear talks on-and-off for nearly two decades, but relations hit a low in 2009 when the North conducted a second nuclear test and a long-range missile launch. Washington imposed sanctions, and Pyongyang walked out of regional denuclearisation talks. The latest deal came about two months after Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, inherited the leadership to become the third member of his family to rule the state.