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Doug Krizner: Representatives from China and North and South Korea met in Pyongyang yesterday. Talks focused on energy aid to the North. But to get it, North Korea has to come clean on its nuclear program. Our China correspondent is Scott Tong.
Scott Tong: The two Koreas and China are supposed to be talking friendly stuff: the nuts and bolts of economic aid. The nuclear deal provides North Korea with fuel oil and infrastructure help: for instance, steel plates for power stations.
But all that could go out the window if the North reneges on a key promise: to disclose its nuclear weapons programs. It’s supposed to by Tuesday, under the six-party deal, but that deadline will probably slip, says Jung-hoon Lee of Yonsei University in Seoul.
Jung-Hoon Lee: If it appears that North Korea is simply procrastinating, then obviously some of the conditions that were put forward in terms of energy assistance will have to be reconsidered. Which means that we’re back to square one.
There’s no tough talk yet of canceling economic aid.
The new ruling party in South Korea is just getting its bearings. And Lee expects Washington to be patient — he says the Bush Administration needs a “diplomatic trophy” on the international front.
In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.
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