Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A bit of press activism

This story from the AP seems to be an attempt to move the ball along in the DPRK affair. It says that the US and NK are planning bilateral talks "as soon as the financial dispute is resolved".
The meeting is likely to be held in Beijing this weekend, as North Korean money held in a U.S.-blacklisted Macau bank is expected to be released this week, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing unidentified diplomats.

However, a senior South Korean official familiar with the nuclear talks dismissed the report as groundless. He did not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the issue's sensitivity.

There's also this:
Yonhap said the top U.S. and North Korean nuclear negotiators — U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan — are likely to attend the weekend bilateral talks.
The bilateral talks are supposed to be about uranium enrichment.

So the whole article is based on a South Korean news agency who talked to unidentified diplomats, and the next paragraph refutes the claim, citing a senior South Korean official. Yonhap goes so far as to say that Hill and his DPRK counterpart will be meeting, but that is necessarily contingent on Glaser resolving the financial issues, and it's been two weeks and counting since that little problem cropped up.

So, is this article trying to put pressure on the Treasury department? That's my reading, but since I had to dig this article out by googling, and can't find it on any front page, the pressure is not going to be much. In terms of press muscle, the realists can't compete with the neo-cons. The Washington Times has run another time the article about the NK's 'supernote' counterfeit $100 bills, just to rub it in.


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