Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Your own Words

A webcast of Christopher Hill speaking about the recent agreement with North Korea and what it is and what it isn't, is available at the Brookings website. There is also mention of a new publication by Jack Pritchard coming out soon.

There is a sixty day 'To Do' list for initial progress. In the first thirty days there should be a meeting of each of the working groups: a denuclearistion working group, an economic and energy working group, a Northeast Asia security working group and two bi-lateral groups (US-DPRK and Japan-DPRK). There is also a plan to do something on the Banco Delta Asia Bank in Macau. We already know that DPRK is hoping to see that latter issue resolved very quickly.

In addition to the meetings, in the sixty days the reactors should be shut and sealed, international observers should be on the ground in DPRK and the denuclearisation group should have a finalised list all DPRK nuclear programs. There should be some progress in each of the working groups and the first shipment of 50,000 tons of oil should be done. That would conclude the first-phase.

The post-60 days phase would include further oil shipments (950,000 tons) over a period of time. Interestingly, there is a cost-sharing arrangement for these shipments that Japan has opted out of until they see how things develop. I suspect that progress for them depends a great deal on progess in the abductions issue. The full DPRK list of its nuclear programs to abandon would be finalised and agreed on, and DPRK would disable (not just shut but fully put out of commission) existing facilities.

The Q&A part, which is the bulk of the webcast is very interesting as well.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui