Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lee Myungbak proposes "grand bargain" to North Korea

Indeed, it appears that the South Korean president has discovered carrots, a major component of the carrot-and-stick approach. Quoting the AP through the Washington Post:
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak proposed a "grand bargain" Monday to restart disarmament negotiations and end North Korea's nuclear arms program.

Lee's proposal called for giving the North economic and political incentives, including a security guarantee, the Yonhap news agency reported. Lee spoke in New York, where the U.N. General Assembly meets this week.

"We must seek a packaged or 'grand bargain' resolution of North Korean nuclear issue, in which North Korea will dismantle key elements of its nuclear programs through the six-party talks while we will simultaneously provide security guarantees and international assistance to North Korea," Lee said in a speech sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Korea Society and the Asia Society.

Unlike past deals, Lee called for making Pyongyang dismantle its nuclear program from the start, instead of in phases.

"We must not repeat our mistake of the past 20 years when we allowed the North Korean nuclear issue to return to its starting point by agreeing to a nuclear freeze and rewarding the North for such an agreement while ignoring the fundamental issue of complete nuclear dismantlement," Lee said.
We'll have to see how this goes. Frankly, I think it has the potential to gain support from different parts of the political spectrum, since it includes both a hard-line option and a sunshiny approach, but it puts the ball in Pyongyang's court, basically making North Korea to blame if South Korea ends up taking a tough stance in the face of rejection.


  1. Is the "Grand" in "Grand Bargain" the same as the word "Grand" in "Grand Canal"?

    If so, he really likes that word, doesn't he?


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