19:40 GMT +330 March 2017
    A North Korean woman is reflected in a rain puddle as she walks past the country's national flag along the Kim Il Sung Square on Sunday, July 21, 2013, downtown Pyongyang, North Korea

    What's Behind Secret Talks Between North Korea and US

    © AP Photo/ Wong Maye-E
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    A North Korean high-ranking diplomat was reported to hold several behind the curtains meetings with US officials. Sputnik discussed this development with the head of the Center of Russia's strategy in Asia at the Institute of Economics, Georgy Toloraia.

    North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol was seen at the Beijing Capital International Airport. According to reports the diplomat will travel to Malaysia for informal talks with the representatives of the United States, Kyodo news agency reported.

    In May, Han Song-ryol made a similar trip to Sweden, where he made contact with the former diplomats from the United States.

    In September, Pyongyang was visited by a private US delegation, headed by former governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, who has experience handling behind the scenes dialogue with representatives of the DPRK.

    These visits could be associated with some new elements of US policy toward North Korea. It is known that, Han Song-ryol, the recently appointed Deputy Foreign Minister of the DPRK, has been engaged in bilateral relations between the United States and North Korea for a very long time.
    So what do these secret talks include and what lies in future for the bilateral relations between North Korea and the US?

    Sputnik spoke with the executive director of the National Committee for the study of BRICS, head of the Center of Russia's strategy in Asia at the Institute of Economics, Georgy Toloraia.

    Toloraia said that the exchange of opinions between experts from both countries has been going on for a while. It is not something new and the dialogues have included other regional forces as well, such as China and Russia.

    “Currently, in the US, there is an ongoing discussion about the fairness and rationality of the policy pursued by Obama. Indeed there is a fierce debate about this notion from both opposite sides. The discussion is primarily about the so-called policy of ‘strategic patience’ pursued by the US with respect to North Korea,” Toloraia told Sputnik.

    The analyst said that one side is voicing its opinion saying that there was no need to tolerate the North Koreans and pressure should have been applied on their policies, even military involvement if necessary.

    However, there is an opposing view to this as well, which strongly criticizes the US’ passive aggressive manner towards DPRK which resulted in the country’s nuclear build up.

    “It is difficult to say at the moment which side will prevail in the future. Nevertheless, today the contact between the American and the North Korean sides is expected to continue in the background of preparation for the US presidential administration change,” Toloraia said.

    The analyst explained that according to him, it seems that the US doesn’t really know what it wants from North Korea.

    “The US is simply unable to clearly state its goals: does it want final destruction of the North Korean regime or does it want it to be involved. At the time, Pyongyang’s stance is clear: the North Koreans will not agree to simply denuclearize,” Toloraia said.

    Hidesi Takesada, professor at the University of Tokusёku, involved in studying the issues of the Korean Peninsula and their regional politics, told Sputnik that Japan will be one country which will receive benefits in case of an initiation of contact between the US and North Korea.

    “The contact between the US and North Korea is taking place and in the future it is likely to become even more active. President Obama is not cornering a partner who has nuclear weapons on its hands.”

    He further said, “I think that the American approach to Iran and Cuba will also be applied toward the DPRK. Japan has a chance to resume bilateral consultations with North Korea,” Takesada said.

    The professor also said that the US will likely maintain this approach even after the presidential elections which will be held in November.


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    • avatar
      The US policy, if you can't beat North Korea, best be friends with them and give them money , remove sanctions and hope to use the to fight the Chinese and Russians,
    • Jupiter
      The meaning is US trying to buy the N. Korean leaders, like Saddam military commanders before starting war against Iraq, but because of Nuclear power of N. Korea the price is too high and will take many times...
    • avatar
      Never trust the US. They may talk and make it look like they want to be friends. But the US is friends only with nations that abide by its dictate. And North Korea is not likely to want to do that. Even with Cuba and Iran we haven't seen all yet. The US is currently fighting a covert war in Iran - which means it tries to incite the Sunnis against the Shiites and Azeris. Opening up to the US means a nation opens itself up to US surveillance and subversion. The lifting of the US embargo appears to me as having been motivated by the realization that subversion combined with surveillance and other clandestine methods would be more effective in toppling the Cuban government to replace it with a US puppet. The same is true for Iran and will be true for North Korea if it mistakes the seeming friendliness. The US is friendly only in return for concessions and submission, just as allies for the US are meaningful only as potential foot soldiers for the US hegemony wars. The US is frantically looking for someone to fight a war on China. Japan refused. So did Vietnam, India and Thailand. The Philippines were the last choice. But it now refused too. So it may well be that the US wants North Korea to give the US access to China from the east side. Hopefully the North Koreans see through these foul plots.
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