North Korea Watch.
Talks on implementing the North-South recortcilialion accord remained wnpended during Dcccmlcr. and P'yongyang boycotted the ninth round of prune-ministerial mccungs to
protest Seoul's plan to hold the IS-South Korean Teamexercise in the spring Although the JointCommission met twice. Pyongyang used theSpin,than to negotiate terms
fortaUtcraluKpecuoas The IAEA moved ahead with efforts io gaxn access to two iirvaeclsrcd nuclear waste uies rhe North
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was no progress in this meeting:
The North's chairman sod the Team Spoil exercise had Closed the cancellaitoti of ihe upcoming prinx-minurerial ujks. The Soulh intended Pyongyang was violating the reconciliation accord by broking off the dialogue over Team Spirit, because the agreement auows each side to conduct military exercises.
The Sooth's delegates repeated the Team Spirit issue would be resolved if the two sides conducted effective nuclear inspections.
The North again charged Seoul was developing nuclear weapons and restated iu opposition to the South's call for reciprocal and challenge inspections of military and civilian sites.
The meeting ended without apecrneni on the date or level of the nexl JNCCNonh proposedlenary session later in the month, but the Sou* wantedmeeting.Korean officials
assumed the North woulutill JNU, meeting only for propaganda on Team Spirit and they wanted the lwo sidesake progress on an inspection regime at the working level before scheduling another plenary meeting. V
Assessing P'yuog*ang's Propaganda Line
In December, Pyongyang used the media to try to portray the Northooperative member of ihe woild community:
Korean media reaffirmed the regime's willingness to open its nuclear facilities to internationaladio report of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting stressed lhe North had already allowed four "unscheduled" IAEA inspections. It also cited the chief North Korean delegates pledge that P'yongyang "will faithfully fulfill" its oblations under the nuclear safeguards agreement "in the fuiure as welL*
favorable media coverage of the UN operation in Somalia suggested Pyongyang wanted to be in step with other nations on an issue of broad iniemanonal concern. Noting that the Security Council had undertaken to "guarantee the supply of relief goods" to Somalia. Pyongyang radio acknowledged, without elaboration, thatOtl US marines" were among the firm ccfllingentsof "ihe UN multinational forces" dispatched to Somalia. In the past. Pyongyang has invariably criticized operations Involving US military personnel. ||
Tne North'sabout its image was also evident in coverage of Russian President Yel'tsaVr. visit lo SeouL Pyongyang media reacted defensively to YelWs remarks that Moscow will consider'abroptioo or revision* of1 USSR-North Korean treaty. Onecember the Korean Central News Agencyoreign Ministry spokesman's statement thai "everyone knows"yeax-old treaty is 'not suited to the
realities ofhe spokesman asserted P'yongyang had previously requested inodilication of Ac treaty. He also reportedly claimed North Korea's defense is "based strictly on the principle of xtf-rcliance* and that Pyongyang had never received "free military aid from the Russian
At the Board of Governors meeringecember. P'yongyangigh -profile confrontation ova the IAEA's request for access to two unrleclarcd, probable nuclear waste storage sites at Yongbyon. Plans to visit tbe sites in November had been suspended because the North never replied to the IAEA's request. At the meeting. North Korea provided no explicit guarantee the IAEA could visit the sies-and indeed cited the Team Spirit military exerciseossible cornpUcarion. Nevertheless, its delegate reiterated Pyongyang's cornrnitrncnt to fulfilling its safeguards obligations, thus backing away from earlier hints that FyonByang miaht abrogate its averment. In light off-
North's more conciliatory
|1AEA members decided not to escalate the issue and putequestion of the two sites.)