Home Contact Us  

Nuclear - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2209, 17 February 2007
The North Korean Accord: A Step Towards Nuclear Disarmament
Reshmi Kazi
Research Fellow, IPCS

The Third session of the Fifth Round of the Six-Party talks finally resulted in North Korea agreeing to undertake nuclear disarmament in a landmark international accord signed between China, ROK, Japan, DPRK, Russia and the United States on 13 February 2007. The agreement imposes new conditions on the US and North Korea. Pyongyang has agreed to shut down and seal its Yongbyon nuclear complex, including its 5MW nuclear reactor and plutonium reprocessing plant within 60 days. Pyongyang has also agreed to allow IAEA inspectors to verify this process within these 60 days. In return, the US has assured energy, food and aid worth 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to Pyongyang.

The latest round of negotiations marks the first concrete plan for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula following over three years of intense deliberations. The February accord marks a significant change in US policy towards North Korea, which was caught in a dilemma whether to negotiate with Pyongyang or isolate the Stalinist regime of Kim Jong II till it collapsed. Finally, good sense prevailed and the US has offered an olive branch to North Korea by agreeing to hold bilateral talks with North Korea on normalization of relations. Towards this end, Washington has assuaged Pyongyang's hostility by removing its designation as a terrorist state and ending trade sanctions. US flexibility was also indicated by its willingness to resolve within 30 days a dispute over charges that Banco Delta Asia in Macau is laundering money from Pyongyang. Washington is expected to adjudge that a third of the US$24 million in Pyongyang's accounts are legitimate.

The newly signed accord signifies an improvement in US-North Korean relations but holds out exciting prospects of developing a new relationship between Pyongyang and the world. As the process of denuclearization proceeds in the Korean Peninsula, it will be marked by substantive negotiations to emplace effective confidence building measures within the Northeast Asian region, which is marked by deep animosities and conflicting interests between China, Japan and South Korea. Continuing negotiations between the Six Party members on North Korean issues could eventually establish a permanent peaceful regime in the Korean Peninsula.

It is extensively documented that after its plutonium production was frozen under the Agreed Framework of 1994, Pyongyang clandestinely imported enrichment technology from Pakistani scientist A Q Khan. It was during this time that Pakistan was unsuccessful in its efforts to develop indigenous missile production capability and sought Chinese and North Korean supplies of missiles technology to facilitate the production of the different versions of the Hatf missiles in Pakistan. Such irresponsible and reckless proliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles technology from and into South Asia is a matter of serious concern for India. Hence, the latest Six-Party decision has been welcomed by India.

Despite the general relief, there is some criticism from hardliners who believe that Pyongyang will again dishonour its commitments as it did earlier with the Agreed Framework of 1994. They believe that North Korea will never dismantle its nuclear facilities and will encourage further proliferation. In spite of this pessimism, it is arguable that negotiations are the most reasonable way out considering the fiasco in Iraq. It is difficult to engage with an abnormal state like North Korea but a military solution to the North Korean imbroglio could have brought about a dangerous situation. US diplomacy acted prudently by offering a small bribe to the impoverished nation in the absence of any alternative option.

What could make these negotiations successful is the stipulation that Pyongyang will not receive additional aid worth 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil unless it agrees to disable its nuclear facilities and provide a complete list of its nuclear programmes - uranium- and plutonium-based - within a year. This will be a strong incentive for a starving Pyongyang to comply with its commitments. Another factor that should dispel the concerns of the hardliners is that, unlike the 1994 agreement, the new accord has been signed not only with Washington, but also with Russia, China, Japan and South Korea. Hence, any effort to scuttle the deal by Pyongyang will encounter a consensus on imposing sanctions from these nations. Besides, a common understanding among the Northeast Asian powers will allow united action to prevent Pyongyang from reneging on its commitments.

North Korea has finally got it all - diplomatic recognition, aid, removal of sanctions and an opportunity to normalize relations. If it abides by its commitments sincerely, it will have a golden opportunity to emerge out of years of conflict, tension and impoverishment. The US will need to adopt a flexible approach to resolve any deadlocks. Finally, if things go well, the world will move a step forward towards nuclear disarmament.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Bio-terror: Grave Implications of Synthetic Biology

Nuclear Forensics: A Tool for Deterring Terrorists?

AQ Khan and Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The Berman Letter: Time for Creative Diplomacy

NSG Waiver - A Diplomatic Gesture

Reliable Replacement Warheads: A Dangerous Expansion

Nuclear Tests: India Cannot Foreclose the Option

India-Russia Nuclear Cooperation: A Balance of Interests

Japan's Support for the Indo-US Nuclear Deal: A Step Towards a Safer World

Indo-US Nuclear Deal: A New Strategic Partnership

North Korea Nuclear Accord: A Game Of Diplomacy

India: A Responsible Nuclear Power

North Korea and China's Predicaments

Proliferation Security Initiative and India

Reducing Nuclear Danger

India's Naval Aspirations

Shaping Nuclear Confidence

Shaheen-II Test: Ramifications for India

Nuclear Impasse in the Korean Peninsula

Halting the Nuclear Trade

Pakistanís Nuclear Linkages with Iran

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.