The Six-Party Talks are aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program through a negotiating process involving China, the United States, North and South Korea, Japan, and Russia. Since the talks began in August 2003, the negotiations have been bedeviled by diplomatic standoffs among individual Six-Party member states--particularly between the United States and North Korea. In April 2009, North Korea quit the talks and a year later, revealed a vast new industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility at the main Yongbyon nuclear complex to visiting U.S. scientists. Because Pyongyang appears intent on maintaining its nuclear program, some experts are pessimistic the talks can achieve anything beyond managing the North Korean threat. The Obama administration has been pursuing talks with the other four countries in the process to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiation table. In February 2012, under new leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea announced it would suspend nuclear tests and allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon in exchange for food aid from the United States, rekindling hope of possibly resuming the Six-Party Talks. B. Content
The main points of contention are:
(a)Security guarantee - this issue has been raised by North Korea since the Bush administration(2001–2009) took office. North Korea labeled the Bush administration as hostile and accused it of planning to overthrow the North Korean government by force. This concern was elevated when President George W. Bush named North Korea as part of an "axis of evil" in his 2002 State of the Union Address. (b)The construction of light water reactors - under the 1994 Agreed Framework two light-water reactors would be built in return for the closure of North Korea's graphite-moderated nuclear power plant program at Yongbyon. This agreement broke down after both sides defaulted, especially...