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Can North Korea`s Nuclear Activities Be Stopped?

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Can North Korea`s Nuclear Activities Be Stopped?

There are many questions to be addressed about North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. These questions can be why North Korea is not keeping its promise to disable Yongbyon; is the country trying to gain some time; or is North Korea going to be bigger issue in the near future for the six party nations if it does not discontinue its nuclear programme? It may be hard to find answers to all of these entire questions. However; one thing is clear, and that is, North Korea is taking its time and acting slowly to shut down its nuclear facilities. There could be a couple of reasons to be addressed as to why North Korea is not taking six- party talks seriously to stop its main nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and hand over complete details of its nuclear programmes.

The first reason that North Korea has not yet disabled its nuclear programme could be that since its intention to take advantage of the six-party nations` leniency. For one thing, last February, North Korea agreed to stop the nuclear programme by the Dec. 31, 2007. In return, six-party nations promised to supply fuel to the country (BBC, 2007). However, the deadline came and passed by and still has not disabled the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Another example of leniency is that last year, North Korea demanded South Korea to provide food in return shutting down the nuclear facilities (Smith, 2007). Even though, South Korea did sent food, North Korea did not keep its promise. Additionally, in the beginning of last year, the country was not willing to co-operate with the six-party nations unless it received $25m that was in a Macau bank which was frozen since the United States suspected North Korea had something to do with money laundering and counterfeiting. Once again, in six-party talks, they decided to give the country another chance to and transfer the funds. Even though of the reactor at Yongbyon was shut down in July 2007, it is still not disabled completely (BBC, 2007).

The second reason is that North Korea’s intention has never been to disable its atomic programme, but instead was trying to gain some time to finish the programme. The Six-Party nations started negotiations over North Korea`s nuclear programme in late 2003. However, in late 2002, the nuclear stand-off began as soon as the United States accused the country has violated 1994 disarmament deal by enriching uranium without permission (CNN, 2007).Six party nations such as South Korea and the United States as well as Japan, are realizing that time is running out for North Korea, and it has to fulfill its promise to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula (Korea, 2008).

In conclusion, nevertheless, North Korea keeps promising to discontinue its nuclear programme; one thing is getting clearer that the country is taking advantage of six-party nations by receiving food,



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