Friday, July 13, 2007

Lollipops and roses for North Korea

From the way it looked, the United Nations is using a new kind of international diplomacy, which when further scrutinized could be misconstrued as a way of pampering North Korea into opening up its doors to U.N. nuclear inspectors.

And as a gift for North Korea's softened stance, the U.N. has rewarded it with a tanker of oil as part of a six-nation deal that would eventually stop its nuclear development projects. The Los Angeles Times said today that this is the first time that U.N. experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency were allowed entry into this hermit kingdom, whose economic survival was suspected to be sourced out from its illegal trade of counterfeits, drugs and missiles to some oil-rich Middle East countries.

Under the agreement, North Korea is expected to receive an estimated 50,000 tons of oil in exchange for the shutting down of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Many people knew first hand that what the U.N. did was a strategic way of encouraging the rogue communist nation to stoop its head a little bit in conformity with what is accepted norm to attain world peace.

However, doubting Thomases are thinking otherwise. Political analysts at this time are uncertain if North Korea's sincerity is real. Perhaps, it is just a way of showing the world that, by all means, it is also capable of going out of its way to be subservient to the wishes of the United Nations. At least, it is a good sign that a hard-headed country is slowly softening its hardline stance of being left alone to fend for itself.

And that makes it ironical because if a country wants to attract the attention of the developed world, all it has to do is build nuclear armaments. However, this is contrary to what other developing countries are noted for: billions of debts to the World Bank. It is not impossible to think that the United Nations will likely facilitate the writing off of North Korea's huge external debts if only to make it stop building more nuclear reactors.

As gleaned from what is happening, it appears that North Korea has an edge over other developing countries in so far as diplomatic bargaining is concerned. And what North Korea wants, it gets. From the experiences of other developing countries, the economic deal follows a maze of bargaining that sometimes end up disadvantageous to their economic interests.

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