Wednesday, April 11, 2007

6PT update?

Yes, that was a question. To follow up on Grace's post and my post from the weekend on the 6 Party Talks, it appears that the ball is now in Pyongyang's court.

This article from JoongAng Daily reveals that the U.S. has essentially washed its hands of the frozen funds issue. I'm a bit confused in that I'm not sure this is anything new. At the same time, the article mentions that the "Macao authorities are prepared to unblock all North Korean-related accounts currently frozen in Banco Delta Asia." This language suggests that all funds, not just the "legitimate" ones are now free. If that's the case, that seems like quite a major concession. Later in the article however, it again refers to the $25 million total.

If the $25 million total is still the sum the parties are working with then this is probably just a diplomatic gesture to tell Pyongyang that it must take the initiative and bear responsibility for the progress of the talks. If more funds are now free (which I don't think to be the case, despite some sloppy reporting) that strikes me as being a little too generous. Presuming the former, it will be interesting to see if North Korea will take the necessary steps or go the way that Bolton and co. are predicting.

On different note, if you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend giving the March 31 edition of the Economist a look through. It features roughly 10 articles as part of a survey of China's relations with its Asian neighbors, including one piece entitled "History Wars." It's about the Koguryo controversy. I was pretty impressed by both the article and the survey as a whole, and strongly encourage any China-philes to check it out. I would link it, but it's a subscription-only article, so unless you have a subscription you won't be able to see it. I could e-mail the article to you however if you so desire. Let me know at .

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