Kelly Failed to Produce ‘Evidence’ in Pyongyang”; Framed up
FM Director O Song Chol
January 19, Kim Ji Yong (PK Staff Reporter)--Unsurprisingly, the DPRK announced
on January 10 its decision to withdraw from the “Treaty on Nonproliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT)” to counter the U.S. hard-line policy toward Pyongyang.
During the first official DPRK-U.S. talks after the Bush administration started,
which was held in Pyongyang in early October last year, Bush’s special envoy
James Kelly failed to show any hard “evidence” that Pyongyang was developing
a uranium enrichment program to produce nukes, said O Song Chol, bureau director
of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, in an interview on January 18. Dismissing
Washington’s argument that Pyongyang “admitted” a clandestine plan as a
sheer lie, which was intended to mislead the world public to isolate the
“defiant country,” O disclosed what happened in the Pyongyang talks and made
clear Pyongyang’s principled stand on the nuclear issue on the Korean
Peninsula as follows:
to “verify” for U.S.
In a new move, the United States seems to have begun to show its “intention to
resume dialogue” with the DPRK this year. What made you decide to withdraw
from the NPT on January 10?
Song Chol: What served directly as the catalyst of our decision like that
was the unjust January 6 resolution adopted by the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, whose substance is that we should “give up
any nuclear weapons program expeditiously and in a verifiable manner.” The
director general of the IAEA went so far as to send us an “ultimatum” in
which he said the board of governors would report the issue to the United
Nations Security Council unless we report back to him or respond in a matter of
days, or weeks at the most.
is the U.S. that manipulates such an international campaign to bring pressure on
our country. It is no other than the U.S. that is to blame for the nuclear
crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The “resolution” shows that the IAEA has
become a U.S. agent carrying out its policy to stifle the DPRK.
should we get sanctions imposed on us? We have never admitted a “nuclear
weapons development” itself. Then, what on earth is the U.S. asking us to
verify and abandon?
of the U.S., Japan and South Korea met early this month in Washington to discuss
a negotiated and peaceful solution to the current nuclear issue. The U.S., too,
reportedly acceded basically to such an approach. The problem, however, is that
it was conditional, that is to say, “Pyongyang should scrap its nuclear
in the U.S. and Europe have reported as if the U.S. wishes dialogue and
negotiation with the DPRK but the latter has not responded to it. This derives
from their lack of understanding of the truth. Our stand is to address the issue
through dialogue. It is the U.S. that is responsible for failing to open
dialogue with us.
You say the current grave situation was originally caused by a U.S. argument
that North Korea “admitted a nuclear weapons development plan.” Please tell
me what is the truth.
In early October last, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly came to
Pyongyang as a special envoy of the U.S. president.
accepted him, to put it plainly, just to listen to the envoy. In fact, we had
not felt a need for us to have face-to-face talks with the U.S. at that time
because we had had nothing in particular to discuss with it. At that point, the
only thing we wanted to say to the U.S. was that it must implement the Agreed
Framework in a sincere manner. However, upon hearing a U.S. suggestion to
dispatch a presidential envoy to Pyongyang, we decided to take this opportunity
to listen to him what he would say, and to find a possibility to discuss issues
on a higher level if and when the substance of his story accords with our
the special envoy began an extravagant story from the beginning of the talks. He
asserted in an arrogant manner that U.S. spy satellite observations indicated
Pyongyang was suspected of resuming “nuclear weapons development” using
enriched uranium under the ground, and demanded that we promptly stop it since
it was a breach of the Agreed Framework between the two countries.
no such false information could he upset us, as a matter of course. The U.S. has
adhered to the policy of isolating and stifling our country by making up various
excuses. However, it has never been able to make public any relevant precise
data. We asked the U.S. envoy to produce evidence to us if any. But he not only
failed to show satellite photos but also could not specify even the site where,
he claimed, we were “developing nuclear weapons.”
we told the U.S. envoy as follows: You say about the so-called “nuclear
development” in our country. But it is the DPRK that has always been actually
threatened by U.S. nuclear weapons. If you continue to assume a high-handed
attitude toward us in the days to come, we are entitled to possess not only
nukes, although we are not in possession of such a weapon at this point, but
also any type of weapon more powerful than that in order to defend ourselves.
This is a natural demand for an independent sovereign state. We have no reason
to talk with you any longer if you make such a brigandish demand of us.
resolutely rejected his assertion like this. This is the truth about James
Kelly’s Pyongyang visit.
Then, did Kelly understand Pyongyang’s claim of the right to possess nukes to
mean that it “admitted its nuclear development”?
There was no mistaking what we meant that way. I must make it clear here
that we flatly denied at the early stage of the talks the U.S. accusations of
our “plan to produce nuclear weapons using enriched uranium.”
understand that Washington decided to dispatch the president’s special envoy
to Pyongyang in an attempt to make a false charge against us for an “act of
breaching the Agreed Framework” as the pendulum of public opinion was swinging
in the direction that the U.S. should take responsibility for its delayed
construction of light water reactors for the DPRK and its non-compliance with
the Agreed Framework. Perhaps the U.S. presumed that we would bow to its
presidential envoy’s pressure and give up our nuclear program and comply with
the Agreed Framework. And, possibly, they were supposed to force
“inspections” on us as they are doing on Iraq, should we admit a “nuclear
think that the U.S. suffered a big blow because Kelly was turned away at the
door from Pyongyang. On his way home from Pyongyang Kelly stopped over in Seoul
and Tokyo to meet their government authorities. He told reporters that he
discussed the nuclear issue with Pyongyang. But his story was insipid as
yesterday’s champagne. It is no wonder that Kelly explained about the
Pyongyang talks that way because he was in a muddle after a shock from seeing
the only superpower’s plan end up in failure in Pyongyang.
commitment to non-aggression needed
But in about ten days, Washington made the surprise announcement that North
Korea “admitted” its “clandestine nuclear program.”
Listening to Kelly in Washington, the Bush administration interpreted to
suit its own purpose our statements as regards counter-measures we said we would
take. Washington’s announcement as such was intended to mislead public opinion
by fabricating a fiction. The U.S. did that not by mistake but by design to
spread misconceptions throughout the world that the DPRK-U.S. agreement failed
because North Korea broke its promise by engaging in a “nuclear weapons
we felt the necessity to offer a new formula given the situation in which the
nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula arose again--a non-aggression treaty
between Pyongyang and Washington.
Why non-aggression treaty?
Of course, the 1994 Agreed Framework is a legally binding agreement. Its
implementation may be guaranteed by simultaneous actions by the two sides.
However, under the present circumstances, it’s difficult for both sides to
eliminate hostile relations if they stick to the Agreed Framework only.
and Washington are badly at odds over basic stands. Washington asserts that we
are giving it nuclear and missile threats. But we hold that the U.S. has
threatened us all the time with its various types of forces deployed in and
around the Korean Peninsula. In other words, each side claims it feels threats
of aggression from the other. The problem is how to remove such mutual concerns.
This is not a so complicated matter to solve but can be addressed if only both
sides legally assure each other of the renunciation of any intention to invade
the other side by signing a relevant treaty.
a non-aggression pact with Washington is our plan to settle in package the
existing contradictions and differences that have come to the fore between the
two nations in the wake of James Kelly’s visit to Pyongyang.
have long urged Washington to conclude a peace treaty which is intended to put
an end to the state of ceasefire that has continued ever since the 1950-53
Korean War and thus turn it into a peace system. Whereas, the current proposal
on our part on a non-aggression treaty is aimed to address the nuclear issue as
a whole--specifically, to eliminate possibilities of nuclear threats between the
DPRK and the U.S.
understand that the 1994 Geneva Agreement has turned out a dead letter for now.
There is nothing we can expect from it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the
agreement itself has been abolished. So, if only the U.S. discontinues its
hostility towards our country and improve its attitude even now, the agreement
could be put into practice. But the Geneva accord alone cannot give a
fundamental solution to the present nuclear issue.
may be considered if positive
The U.S. hints its readiness to document its intention not to invade the DPRK
and assure its security.
Given the essence of the present situation, a letter of the president or
something like that would not guarantee a final solution to the nuclear issue.
The U.S. is aware of this. What we can say for sure is that U.S. adherence to
pressuring will have no effect at all.
present, we see that the Bush administration is puzzled over a paradoxical
either-or situation. Now that we have taken a high-handed measure, they may
think, according to their own logic, they should contain North Korea using
military force as in the case of Iraq. On the other hand, it is apparent that if
they attack North Korea they are sure to suffer irretrievably horrible losses.
But if the U.S. promises non-aggression to North Korea, then it will lose face
as the only superpower.
the Bush administration talks about opening dialogue. But actually, it has yet
to make up its mind what subjects it should discuss with us. It may be correct
to say that the U.S. has not have drawn a clear design for dealing with North
Korea. Therefore, Washington is just playing for time by deferring dialogue.
is the U.S., not us, that has been driven to a tight corner after it raised the
story about our “admission of a nuke plan.” You see the U.S. envoy came to
Pyongyang only to have a hard time of it. The U.S. had expected that we would
bow to its pressure. The positions of us and the U.S. were completely reversed,
however, because we countered it with a higher-handed measure. We have had the
initiative in the nuclear standoff ever since and are making progress toward
is against this background that Washington came up with an idea about an
exchange of letters or official statements with us as regards non-aggression to
find a way for compromise.
What if surrounding nations should suggest “arbitrations” to settle the
nuclear issue between the two countries?
From Russia President Putin’s envoy came to Pyongyang, and China has made
clear its intention to provide a venue for DPRK-U.S. bilateral talks in Beijing
should such talks take place.
hear that South Korea’s President-elect Roh Moo Hyon, too, has made clear his
position to play a role in solving the nuclear issue in a peaceful way.
think it would be wonderful if surrounding nations could play their positive
roles in settling correctly the current nuclear issue, based on their clear
understanding of the nature of the present state of affairs. If they fail to
understand the situation correctly and try to impose one-sided demands on us by
taking the U.S. side, it would only help aggravate the situation.
and when our dialogue is held on an equal footing, there will be no reason for
us to refuse it. We will not stick to the form of dialogue. In the past, there
have been held vice-ministerial level talks between the two countries, and even
a U.S. Secretary of State has ever been to our country.
Do you think the DPRK will remain high-handed in the future?
It is thanks to the power of army-first policy exercised by Chairman Kim
Jong Il of the National Defense Commission that we could make a bold decision to
leave the NPT. Without powerful national defense capabilities with us, we would
not be able to vie fairly and squarely with the U.S., the superpower.
Kim Jong Il has elucidated strategic policies in a decade-long nuclear standoff
with Washington since the “nuclear suspicion” was raised by the U.S., and
has strived to implement them to put the U.S. at bay all the time since then.
was in accordance with Chairman Kim Jong Il’s decision that we met and had
talks with James Kelly in Pyongyang and that we withdrew the NPT.
is not a big country in terms of population and territory. But, if the U.S.
boasts of being a big country, we will have to think and act as such accordingly
. This position of our leader’s is firm will and fixed.
Copyright © 2003 The People's Korea. All rights reserved.