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Moment of truth for the Six-Party Talks?

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24 April 2008 15:01

The US media is reporting that the CIA will later today release video evidence of North Koreans helping to build a Syrian nuclear reactor. Israel bombed the site last year. This Washington Post report has a summary of what's actually in the video, while the New York Times piece focuses more on the political implications, including some anonymous quotes that suggest the State Department's chief negotiator with North Korea, Christopher Hill, is on the nose with his bosses, Secretary Rice and President Bush.

Although this video will add new drama to the issue, the US has believed for some time that Pyongyang was assisting Damascus in the nuclear field, so the video may not add anything substantially new. Still, the power of a 'caught red handed' video might just tip the Washington balance in favour of those who say North Korea is not to be trusted and that the Six-Party Talks are a fools errand.

But that's just the Washington view. Goodness knows how Pyongyang will react.

UPDATE: Useful background in this CFR interview with Clinton Administration arms control official Gary Samore.

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