Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney thinks China has a critical role to play in international efforts to deal with North Korea, the Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday quoted an adviser to the candidate as saying.
...If elected, Romney is likely to back renewal of the long-frozen six-nation process on permanent North Korean denuclearization, Williamson indicated. "On a bipartisan basis there has been support for the six-party talks."
The six-nation negotiations encompass China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the United States. The aid-for-denuclearization talks were last held in December 2008 (Lee Chi-dong, Yonhap News Agency I, July 25).
Well, I'm hopeful that the key to the deal which is additional inspectors by IAEA -- inspectors, will let us determine whether or not they're cheating. Because I think the experience we've had with North Korea is, just like the last time that President Clinton entered into an agreed framework, that the North Koreans cheat… I'm not going to tell you whether right now it's a good agreement. But I know what the problem is in the agreement, and that's unless the IAEA has the kind of inspections that we could be sure they're not cheating, then it would not be a step forward. And that's going to be critical.
"Its weapons program poses a clear and growing threat to the United States, one for which President Obama has no effective response. Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naïve as it was short-lived. At the same time, he has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them. This incompetence from the Obama Administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and undermined the security of the United States and our allies.”
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempted North Korean missile launch. Although the missile test failed, Pyongyang's action is another blatant violation of unanimous U.N. Security Council resolutions and demonstrates once again that Pyongyang is committed to developing long-range missiles with the potential of carrying nuclear weapons. Its weapons program poses a clear and growing threat to the United States, one for which President Obama has no effective response."
Work to persuade China to commit to North Korea’s disarmament. Mitt Romney will discuss with China how the international community will address the humanitarian and security issues that will arise should North Korea disintegrate. And by reinvigorating our military and counter-proliferation relationships with South Korea, Japan, and others regional allies, he will demonstrate to the Chinese that they should join the coordinated effort or be left behind.
The United States will make it unequivocally clear to Pyongyang that continued advancement of its nuclear program and any aggression will be punished instead of rewarded. Mitt will work with allies to institute harsher sanctions on North Korea, such as cracking down on financial institutions that service the North Korean regime and sanctioning companies that conduct commercial shipping in and out of North Korea. He will also step up enforcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative to constrain North Korean illicit exports by increasing the frequency of inspections of North Korean ships and discouraging foreign ports from permitting entry to North Korean ships.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is a serious menace to world peace. A nuclear weapons capability in the hands of an unpredictable dictatorship with unknown leadership and an unclear chain of command poses a direct threat to U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere in East Asia, threatens our close allies South Korea and Japan, destabilizes the entire Pacific region, and could lead to the illicit transfer of a nuclear device to another rogue nation or a terrorist group. As president, Mitt Romney will commit to eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons and its nuclear-weapons infrastructure.
He will not be missed. His death represents an opportunity for America to work with our friends to turn North Korea off the treacherous course it is on and ensure security in the region... The North Korean people are suffering through a long and brutal national nightmare. I hope the death of Kim Jong-il hastens its end.”
When Kim Jong-il died six months ago, Romney argued that the United States should push for regime change on the opportunity of the North Korean leader’s death, calling him “a tyrant who lived a life of luxury while the North Korean people starved,” and who developed dangerous weapons. To bring about regime change and to force North Korea to take a different path, Romney said, “America must show leadership.”
Well, we've had very little progress over the years in dealing with North Korea. From time to time, they decide to negotiate with us. And in the negotiations, we promise to give them certain things they want, they promise to forebear from nuclear ambition. And then of course, we give them what they want, and they go ahead and pursue their nuclear ambition.