Six-party talks on scrapping North Korea’s nuclear arms have resumed but Pyongyang, emboldened by its first nuclear weapons test in October, looks unlikely to compromise. China, which is hosting the negotiations, remains optimistic. “I sincerely hope that all delegates can demonstrate political wisdom, resolve and courage,” said Beijing’s head delegate Wu Dawei. As well as China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States are talking to Pyongyang. It has been warned by Washington’s representative Christopher Hill that it faces a stark choice.
“I hope that the DPRK understands, as the rest of us do, that we really are reaching a fork in the road,” he said.
“We can either go forward on a diplomatic track or you have to go to a much more difficult track and that is a track that involves sanctions.” UN sanctions have, in fact, already been imposed on Kim Jong-il’s reclusive communist state. They have shown no sign of softening its stance, telling the US it must first drop financial restrictions against North Korea.