A group of US experts on Korean affairs will visit Pyongyang Saturday for talks with policy makers regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program, a news report said. The group includes Korea Economic Institute (KEI) president Jack Pritchard, director of KEI research and academic affairs Nicole Finneman, and Scott Snyder, director of the Center for US-Korea Policy at the Asia Foundation.
The trip comes as Stephen Bosworth, US special representative for North Korean policy, is scheduled to visit the communist state on December 8 in order to persuade it to return to six-party nuclear disarmament talks.
U.S. special envoy to North Korea Steven Bosworth will reportedly arrive in Pyongyang December 8 for two days with a delegation of four to five members. Washington decided to make Bosworth’s visit short and his delegation a small working-level team given the focus on persuading Pyongyang into returning to the six-party talks.
Many analysts say the visit will focus on conveying the U.S. stance to North Korea rather than holding specific negotiations.
The delegation will include Sung Kim, the chief U.S. negotiator to the six-party talks, and one of two National Security Council officials, namely Jeffrey A. Bader, senior director for Asian affairs, or adviser Daniel Russell. Chances are high that Derek Mitchell, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, will also go.
A diplomatic source in Washington said, “The schedule for the North Korea visit focuses on conveying a strong message from the Obama administration that Pyongyang must first to return to the six-party talks, rather than holding new negotiations to hint at the possibility of giving North Korea something.
[AFP and Donga.com]