Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Want a comfortable temperature on the Korean Thermostat? - Time to talk!

Despite the bellicose rhetoric emanating from Pyongyang, the situation has subsided. If outside parties are interested in seeing a more rational North Korea, it is worth using every opportunity to engage with it, especially in high-level talks. North Korea now finds itself under tougher sanctions that target its financial sector, and a neighbor in Beijing that is growing increasingly less patient with the young Kim’s saber rattling.

After recent talks with the South, the first in over two years, were stymied by shrewd diplomatic disagreements and eventually shelved, Pyongyang called for high-level talks with the United States. US officials responded coldly to Pyongyang’s offer and insinuated that they would not abandon their preconditions-for-dialogue approach. Washington spokesmen also told the media that the North could not talk its way out of sanctions, and that Pyongyang would be judged "by its actions and not its words." The preconditions refer to Pyongyang dismantling its nuclear weapons program before any iota of cooperation with the US can take place, something the North has adamantly refused to do.

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Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He also contributes to PressTV, Global Research, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at