Was an Agreement Reached?
North Korea is insisting it reached an agreement with the U.S. over the Six-Party Talks stalemate. According to the KCNA (via Hankyoreh):
“The recent Singapore agreement fully proved the effectiveness of the DPRK-U.S. talks,” the spokesman said, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“We will await the fulfillment of commitments made by those countries participating in the six-party talks,” he added.
The U.S. has remained tight-lipped about any deal. Christopher Hill told reporters that “significant progress” was made, but denied a “major breakthrough” occurred.
Chosun Ilbo reports that the two sides came to an agreement regarding the wording of the declaration:
In their meeting, the two sides reportedly agreed on wording in the declaration, which will not be released to the public, regarding suspicions about the North’s uranium enrichment program and transfer of nuclear technology to Syria. A diplomatic source said, “The wording in the declaration will probably persuade the U.S. Congress.”
According to Nighwatch’s analysis, the North’s preemptive declaration was a tactic to pressure the U.S.:
The North never announces good news on talks before the US, unless it is laying a trap. This is a setup to pressure the US administration into making concessions or to justify increased tension in the likely event the US balks, based on something the North will claim was promised them in Singapore. By NightWatch’s count this would be the third time since the start of Six Party Talks that the North has pulled this stunt.