In Pyongyang Tuesday, US Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright concluded the highest level talks between North Korea and the United States since the end of the Korean War. During the three-day visit, Albright addressed a number of US security concerns, including North Korea's missile development programs and missile exports. US officials have stated that further improvement of relations will hinge on North Korea reigning in its missile programs. Negotiations also may lead to an easing of military tensions on the Korean peninsula, and eventual normalization of US relations with the Communist nation.
In a major step towards establishing formal relations and easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright will travel to North Korea on October 23 to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. This would be the first ever meeting by a high-level U.S. official with the North Korean leader, and the trip could pave the way for a visit to Korea by President Clinton in November, an event unimaginable just one year ago.
On Wednesday, October 18, Russia reiterated its call to press forward with START III (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), and limit American and Russian deployed strategic warheads to 1,500 each. Moscow also reaffirmed its position that any nuclear cuts would depend on the "preservation and strengthening of the immutability" of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Russia said that U.S. deployment of a national missile defense would lead to the "destruction" of the ABM Treaty, adding that Moscow "has not held and will not hold negotiations on the 'adaptation' of the ABM Treaty."
Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s upcoming visit to North Korea is the latest in an avalanche of diplomatic initiatives promising a more secure future in the Koreas and East Asia. Successful talks would vindicate the Clinton Administration’s approach to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
Remarks made by Joseph Cirincione at an Arms Control Association Press Briefing
Presentation at the National Press Club by Carnegie Senior Associate Joseph Cirincione
The drive to deploy a National Missile Defense System in the United States is not driven primarily by threats or technology, but by politics. It is motivated primarily by deeply-held conservative political and strategic views on the nature of international conflict.
Russia is the one exception to U.S. success in dissuading nuclear cooperation with Iran - success, which includes China and Ukraine, according to Assistant Secretary of State for Non-proliferation, Robert Einhorn. In testimony before a U.S Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on October 5, he blamed Moscow's "lack of determination" in failing to stop Iran's procurement of nuclear materials in Russia.
In the wake of President Clinton's decision to delay deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system, missile defense advocates are crying foul. They insist that the technology is here today. They claim a Clinton conspiracy is depriving the nation of effective defense.