The Obama administration’s onetime point-man for North Korean policy met with a senior official from Pyongyang in Germany, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday, citing an informed source.
Former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth spoke in Berlin with Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s representative to the six-party aid-for-denuclearization negotiations, the source said.
The reported meeting follows a recent gathering in Beijing of a number of academics and government officials from participants in the talks — which are between China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States and last were held in December 2008.
A senior North Korean official told attendees of the Beijing meeting that his government was interested in returning to negotiations, but only with no preconditions. The United States and its allies South Korea and Japan say they will not participate in new talks until Pyongyang first makes a show of good faith on its commitment to denuclearization. At the same time, news reports over the last few weeks suggest the North is making headway on several fronts in its ability to domestically produce fissile material — a development that if true would make it very difficult in the future to have much confidence the country was adhering to any new denuclearization deal.
In order to pressure the Kim Jong Un regime into giving up its nuclear weapons work, concerned nations should tighten financial penalties against the North, former Bush administration National Security Council staffer David Asher told the Yonhap News Agency.
“The whole process [of the six-party talks] has value, but none of this is likely to succeed in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear program unless we are willing to threaten the regime … in a way that internally threatens it — taking away their money and forcing them to fight among themselves,” said Asher, who also served as coordinator of the North Korea Working Group at the State Department.
“If we want, or have any hope [of] trying to get them to change their nuclear posture, let alone give up their nuclear weapons, we are gonna have to aim at the financial heart of Kim Jong Un’s regime.”
- 1 Bull’s Eye: Here’s the Obamas’ New Neighborhood
- 2 Without Federal Drone Rules, States Are Blazing Their Own (Potentially Conflicting) Paths
- 3 Meet Donald Trump’s Surprising Supporters
- 4 Marco Rubio Won’t Run for Senate in 2016 if He Runs for President
- 5 Smart Ideas: The Administration’s Contradictions on Bathroom Access; Poverty Changes One’s DNA
What We're Following See More »
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.