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North Korea plays off negotiating parties

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – Although the United States seeks to reopen negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program, it may turn out to be yet another non-starter since Russia and China appear to be providing the North with what it needs in the way of trade without such conditions, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Discussions with North Korea have been on hold since 2008 with the breakdown of the “Six-Party Talks” that involved North and South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the U.S.

With the death of Kim Jong Il and the ascendency of his son, Kim Jong Un, the U.S. sought to take the opportunity to get talks back on track. In turn, North Korea has conditioned any talks on South Korea halting any further military exercises and a requirement that South Korea issue a formal apology for not sending a delegation to the funeral of Kim Jong Il.

Such conditions have the effect of allowing no action to be taken in the foreseeable future, and that is reinforced by China and Russia not placing any prior conditions, such as resuming negotiations, on their deals with North Korea.

As of now, China provides some 90 percent of North Korea’s energy needs and half of its food. Meantime, Russia is going ahead with a natural gas pipeline project through North Korea to South Korea. It was a deal that Kim Jong Il worked out before his death. From it, North Korea will receive considerable transport fees.

Analysts believe that North Korea will appear to be receptive to reopening discussions on its nuclear program, but only to stave off any further sanctions while continuing unconditional trade with Russia and China.

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