His Excellency Mr Ja Song Nam, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) Ambassador to the UK will address members of the Royal United Services Institute on his nation’s nuclear policy.
In 1992 the DPRK agreed to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit its nuclear sites. Since then, the nuclear issue has dominated relations between the two Koreas, and led to the ‘Six-Party Talks’.
Launched in 2003 after the DPRK’s decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the ‘Six-Party Talks’ aims to bring a peaceful resolution to security concerns of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programme. Consisting of representatives from the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Russia, Japan and the People’s Republic of China, talks disappointingly reached deadlock in November 2007. Further progress in talks have not realised following the suspension of aid from the United States, Japan and Republic of Korea to the DPRK.
Recently however, the DPRK has expressed a willingness to bypass the Six-Party Talks and deal directly with the United States, but President Obama’s position has remained firm: negotiations must continue within the Six Party Talks framework.
The Ambassador’s remarks will seek to highlight the principles behind the DPRK’s nuclear policy.
Ambassador Ja Song Nam began his career serving in the Korean People’s Army before taking a degree at the University of International Relations in Pyongyang in 1983. He then joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he became a section chief. Then in 1998, he was appointed the Vice Director of the Inter-Korean Relations Department. During the critical years 2000 to 2004, Ambassador Ja served as a Counselor at the Permanent Mission of the DPRK to the UN. His position there came at a time when activity concerning the DPRK’s nuclear programme was reaching a crescendo in diplomatic activity and he will draw upon some of his experience there in giving his talk.