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French Nuclear Expert Stresses US Role in Talks with N. Korea Next Week Updated: 2011-10-21 00:00:00 KST

[Reporter : ] "Director, we really appreciate you allowing your time with us today. Can you tell us about France's interest in issues related to the Korean Peninsula[Interview : Camille Grand, Director
Foundation for Strategic Research] "Developments in North Korea are of concern to us, not only because they impact your security and security of Northeast Asia, but also because they impact all security, directly through the proliferation of missiles and nuclear weapons, and indirectly through the spread of technologies."

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "Efforts are taking place in this region, especially amongst the six-party members, to resume the denuclearization talks. However, positions are somewhat divided on seeking ways to resume the dialogue. What is your country, France's position on that[Interview : Camille Grand] "France is very supportive of the six-party talks and very much hoping that they will go forward. It's very important that we have a clear indication of where North Korea wants to head. The purpose of the talk is not just to talk, it's also to achieve significant results. We all need to be reassured about North Korean will to truly and generally engage into a process leading to the denuclearization of North Korea and allowing a safer region."

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "Can we expect progress out of the high-level talks between North Korea and the US that is expected to take place next week[Interview : Camille Grand, Director
Foundation for Strategic Research] "North Korea has always put a lot of emphasis on the dialogue with the US, that it values the most because it sort of upholds its status as a big player. They also think that whatever security guarantees they are seeking, they will obtain from the US, and not from the South. Having said this, it's also important that we stick to, as an international community to, sort of principle of where we are heading. For that, I hope that the US has a clear agenda of what it wants to achieve with these bilateral discussions."

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "Will North Korea ever give up its nuclear program[Interview : Camille Grand] "What is very clear is that they probably believe that the nuclear program is in their national interest for the moment. So the key is to convince them that it's in fact isolating them more and more, that they are spending money on something that is not really useful for their national security. But this seems to be a long-term prospect. The political changes are in fact, a complicating factor. Because it might lead to a competition between the various factions in the North Korean regime, some members of the army eventually contesting the leadership of the heir to Kim Jong-il. So the transition period is going to be a difficult one."

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "What are the chances that the North may carry out another military or nuclear provocation in the near future[Interview : Camille Grand] "This is something they've been doing on a regular basis, either testing a nuclear device or testing a missile. Those provocations, as well as more conventional provocations that took place in the recent years, are very much part of the bargaining tactic. So unfortunately these sort of provocations are likely to continue and as long as they don't feel that there's an overwhelming reaction to those, in terms of sanctions, they're probably going to continue to play that card."

[Reporter : Choi You-sun] "Korea is expected to host the Nuclear Security Summit next year. What will be Korea's role within the international community to pursuade or influence other countries in the world to disarm and to prevent proliferation of WMDs[Interview : Camille Grand] "The Nuclear Security Summit is supposed to be focused on the particular issue of nuclear security, which is to deny access to nuclear material and nuclear technology for non-state actors and terrorist groups. It's going to be an opportunity to send clear messages about the fact that nuclear security matters, that the agenda that was launched by President Obama in Washington a year and a half ago is going to be upheld by the key players in the nuclear business. It will also be an opportunity probably to discuss the issue of nuclear safety in the aftermath of Fukushima, even though it's not formally on the agenda. And as well in the field of non-proliferation, there is no Non-Proliferation Treaty conference before 2015, so it's one of the big meetings where some messages can be sent about the threats associated with nuclear proliferation."

[Reporter : ] "OK, great, Thank-you very much for your time."

[Interview : ] "Thank-you."


Well there is a lot to anticipate there certainly and we appreciate the French director for sharing his views with us today.
I hope we get some more information on nuclear safety especially in terms of Fukushima.
Certainly there's been a lot of momentum leading up to the meeting especially with the latest round of informal talks that just wrapped up at the University of Georgia.
So let's hope the mood will be positive.
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