WASHINGTON D.C. - Last week, with the support of President George Bush, a deal was announced to resume talks between North Korea and the United States after they were suspended last October due to North Korea's test of a nuclear weapon.
In the deal, North Korea has agreed to disarmament, but there have been no details as to how and when this will happen, or what North Korea might receive in return.
The deal is seen as a major step towards progress in disarming North Korea. It does not, however, come without criticism. Some claim that the deal did not go through the proper procedures that have been previously used in negotiations. The White House strongly denies this allegation. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Michael Bolton disagreed with the deal, as it may not be as tough on North Korea as he had desired. He expressed that he hoped it would not be successful. In the first presidential press conference on the issue last Wednesday, Bush expressed his position, stating, "I strongly disagree - strongly disagree with his assessment."
The deal has also had an impact on North Korea's closest neighbors, South Korea and Japan. South Korea's president, Roh Moo-hyun, said that "it not only resolves the North Korea nuclear issue itself, but, in a further step, it includes a clause for discussions, negotiations on establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula."
In the past, South Korea sent billions of dollars of aid to the desperate North Korean people with little in return. Japan, however, is not as open to resuming talks with the country as it believes that North Korea is still holding several Japanese agents within the country. Makoto Taniguchi, president of Iwate Prefectural University in Japan, believes that "Japan should be conducting diplomacy with a broader perspective, rather than focusing on the abduction issue."