NKorea unlikely to abandon nuclear arms: Bush human rights envoy

( AFP ) - North Korea is unlikely to abandon its nuclear weapons before US President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009, his special envoy said Thursday, calling for a revamp of six-party talks to end the crisis.

Jay Lefkowitz, special envoy for human rights in North Korea, also accused China and South Korea of not exerting enough pressure on North Korea during the talks that first began in 2003 to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons drive.

"It is increasingly clear that North Korea will remain in its present nuclear status when the administration leaves office in one year," he told a forum in Washington.

Using unusually sharp words, he said North Korea "has not kept its word," was "not serious about disarming in a timely manner" and "its conduct does not appear to be that of a government that is willing to come in from the cold."

Lefkowitz also accused Pyongyang of being a "serial proliferator" and using its nuclear arms to "extort" foreign aid, saying there was no guarantee that US military and nuclear strength could prevent it from passing on nuclear arms or technology to Islamists or their backers.

His remarks came after North Korea missed a key December 31 deadline to disable its main nuclear facilities and give a full declaration of its atomic programs in return for economic aid under a deal agreed in February 2007.

The delay is believed to be over North Korea's reported refusal to provide information on US evidence that the isolated regime maintained a secretive uranium enrichment program alongside its plutonium powered nuclear plant.

White House officials had no immediate reaction to Lefkowitz's comments.

Chief US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill earlier cautioned patience with North Korea, which tested a nuclear device in October 2006.

"There is a new South Korean government to be installed on February 25," he said during a stop in Moscow on his way back to the United States from the region on January 11.

"It would be nice if this was solved ahead of time (...) but I am not setting any new deadline," he said.

Lefkowitz's speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute forum was based on a prepared text and mirrors a longstanding split within the Bush administration on how to handle North Korea.

Pyongyang on Wednesday accused US hardliners of trying to wreck the nuclear deal, saying the issue would never be resolved by pressure tactics.

Lefkowitz charged that China and South Korea -- the two nations with the most leverage over the North Korean regime - were "unwilling to apply significant pressure on Pyongyang" to abandon its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Because of this, he said, recent six-party talks involving China, the United States, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas, "in actuality, became a bilateral negotiation between the US and North Korea."

Lefkowitz called for a "new approach" in disarmament talks -- "perhaps even bilaterally" -- with North Korea that would permanently link human rights as part of the engagement policy and a critical condition for any normalization of diplomatic relations.

"The six-party talks have not involved human rights. However, there is a valid question of whether this continues to make sense," he said.

He said his proposed new concept of dialogue with North Korea could evolve to resemble the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which emerged with the Helsinki Final Act as a significant step toward reducing Cold War tensions.

As North Korea was unlikely to prefer such new talks, Lefkowitz said any economic assistance to the country must be given only in return for "tangible, verifiable progress on all issues that are a component of the dialogue."

He also called for restrictions on the North Korean regime's access to the US and international banking system - "which has at times been necessary before, given the regime's involvement in money laundering."

Iran, Turkey call for increased economic coop.
Iran, Turkey call for increased economic coop.
Turkey grapples with COVID-19 surge in 3 cities amid vaccine hope
Turkey grapples with COVID-19 surge in 3 cities amid vaccine hope
Uzbekistan, Turkey discuss creation of industrial zone in Tashkent
Uzbekistan, Turkey discuss creation of industrial zone in Tashkent
Loading Bars
Latest
UK coronavirus deaths top 60,000 as another 414 recorded
OPEC+ supports 0.5 mln bpd output growth since January, monthly meetings
Four killed in large blast in western England: local police
Kazakhstan's revenue from petroleum oil exports to Hungary surge
Georgian NCDC Head urges symptomatic citizens to undergo antigen test
Iran, Turkey call for increased economic coop.
Turkey grapples with COVID-19 surge in 3 cities amid vaccine hope
Kazakhstan's oil & gas company opens tender to buy spares
It is through coordinated, concerted global response based on unity, multilateral cooperation that international community can craft strategies to mitigate effects of COVID-19 - President Aliyev
Special Session of UN General Assembly is remarkable success for Member States of NAM - President Aliyev
Non-Aligned Movement praises activities of UN system in response to COVID-19 - President Aliyev
Throughout 2020 global community faced greatest health crisis in recent history - President Aliyev
Turkmenistan proposes to widen cooperation in the area of nature protection and climate change on the OSCE platform
Turkmenistan committed to humanitarian cooperation within the OSCE
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company discloses amount of investments in Georgia's economy
Annual production volume from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to increase by 2023
Azerbaijani president delivers speech at special session of UN General Assembly (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran Chamber of Commerce discusses increase of interest rates
Azerbaijan changes rules for distribution of property
Georgia announces final results of parliamentary election
Special session of UN General Assembly on COVID-19 begins at Azerbaijani president’s initiative
OSCE MG Co-Chairs welcome cessation of activities in area of Karabakh conflict
Kazakhstan sees increase in registration of newly-purchased cars
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs exchange views on meeting of OSCE Ministerial Council
Metallurgical plant built with Russia’s support to be launched in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan Railways JSC to increase authorized capital
Russia hopes UNESCO mission to arrive soon in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Georgian state flour subsidy program to maintain stable prices for bread
Foreign trade grows between Russia’s Udmurtia, Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry eyes studying Rothschild & Co experience in entering IPO
Azerbaijan raises cargo exports in value terms
National Bank of Georgia sells funds at foreign exchange auction to stabilize lari
Korean government donates glove boxes to Azerbaijan for COVID-19 examination (PHOTO)
Public to be provided with detailed information about martyrs - Azerbaijani MoD
Georgia continuing efforts to diversify production and promoting use of renewable energy
Number of projects to be implemented at Angren FEZ in Uzbekistan revealed
Prospects for expanding capabilities of Southern Gas Corridor discussed
Kazakhstan looking for co-op opportunities with Northern European countries despite COVID-19
Coronavirus adversely affects activities of Georgian JB Group
Uzbekistan, Turkey discuss creation of industrial zone in Tashkent
Productivity of Azerbaijani liberated lands to be assessed
Baku Metro opens tender to attract renovation, installation services
Ceyhan terminal’s oil transshipment from ACG exceeds 195 million barrels
OSCE potential in settlement of conflicts remains in demand – Russian FM
Crude oil shipments decrease at Kazakhstan's Marine Terminal of CPC
Karabakh agreement can positively influence Turkish-Armenian relations - Mevlut Cavusoglu
Azerbaijan records annual growth in lending to agricultural sector
Uzbek-Korean JV opens tender for gas purchase
Patriotic War Memorial Complex and Victory Museum to be established in Baku
Khazar Consortium opens tender for maintenance, repair of office equipment in Turkmenistan
We are entering new post-conflict stage of reconstruction, rehabilitation - Azerbaijani FM
President Ilham Aliyev signs order on commemoration of Patriotic War martyrs
SOCAR’s share in Azerbaijan’s natural gas output down
Anti-Azerbaijani efforts of Armenian diaspora and pro-Armenian forces fail
Georgia sees increase in public debt
Georgian restaurants ask for benefits and salary compensation
Lithuanian company talks on new payment device for Azerbaijani market
Georgian E-Space to attract partners for developing network of charging stations
SOCAR sees increase in proven gas and condensate reserves
Georgian bread company plans to expand its business
Iran's power production capacity increases
Employment in Iran's Kurdistan Province increases
Azerbaijan confirms 4,189 new COVID-19 cases, 2,072 recoveries
Azerbaijani banks' demand for foreign currency declines
Commandants appointed for liberated Lachin, Kalbajar districts of Azerbaijan
Turkish FM talks regional benefits of trilateral agreement on Karabakh
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Assets of Uzbek commercial banks increase over 10M2020
Greece extends nationwide lockdown by a week, to Dec. 14
Most of Azerbaijani goods' exports via Single Window system falls on air transportation
Number of enterprises launched in Iran's Qom Province up
Demand for Azerbaijani commercial banks grows year on year
SOCAR’s 2019 oil output exceeds forecasts
Date of Turkish president's visit to Azerbaijan disclosed
OSCE chairman-in-office welcomes cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Defense Ministry discloses number of missing Azerbaijani servicemen and currently under medical treatment
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 1 million
Turkmenistan cuts imports of cars from Turkey
Azerbaijan discloses number of its servicemen killed in second Karabakh war
Azerbaijan lowers cement imports from Turkey
Iran's trade turnover with some Central Asian countries revealed
Trilateral statement of Nov. 10 ends nearly 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands - FM
Growth pace of both lari and foreign currency deposits slows down in Georgia
Azerbaijan reveals latest data on exports and imports of finished textile products
Iran inaugurates new power projects
Association of electrotechnical enterprises to increase production in Uzbekistan
Iran declares amount of money paid to tea farmers
Kazakhstan discusses measures to improve national economy with UNDP
SOCAR’s proven oil reserves down y-o-y
Azerbaijan creates service post, appoints inspectors in liberated Sugovushan, Talish villages (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to solemnly celebrate Victory Day every year on Nov. 8
Lari exchange rate and pandemic impact electricity tariffs in Georgia
Turkey's export to Turkic-speaking countries up
Expenses on construction of enterprises decline in Iran’s Qazvin province
Iran plans changes to law for citizens paying tax upon leaving country
Food products jump in price in Kazakhstan in Nov. 2020
Azerbaijan shows video footages from Husulu, Malibey villages of Lachin district (VIDEO)
Iran’s Wagon Pars Company discloses number of manufactured wagons
Azerbaijan records growth in life insurance market
Global Gas Centre can help promote Turkmen gas in Central Asia, Europe
All news