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Words in the News
Wednesday 08 January 2003
South Korea's diplomatic intervention
North Korean Rally South Korea says North Korea should make the next move following an agreement by the United States to talk to the Communist state about its nuclear programme. The American decision is being seen as a victory for South Korean diplomats who have been pushing for a compromise deal. This report from Charles Scanlon.
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South Korea has scored the first success in its effort to find a diplomatic solution. It's persuaded the United States to drop its refusal to talk openly to North Korea, although the administration insists it won't re-negotiate agreements already made by the North to abandon its nuclear programme. The South says it's now up to the North Koreans to make the next move because they caused the problem in the first place. The US said its regional allies have all agreed on the need for a peaceful solution.

The calculation and the hope is that North Korea's nuclear programme is really a diplomatic gambit, designed to extract economic and political concessions. South Korea believes that American security guarantees and a promise of economic aid would persuade the North to back down. But no-one can be sure of the North's true intentions. If it has decided to build a stockpile of nuclear weapons as the best guarantee of its security, then a more dangerous confrontation will be unavoidable.
Listen Listen to the words
scored the first success
achieved for the first time something it has been trying to do
diplomatic solution
a way of removing a difficulty through discussions between diplomats rather than for example, by force
nuclear programme
plans for producing nuclear energy
to make the next move
a move is an action you take in order to achieve something
diplomatic gambit
something you do - such as implying you're doing something even if you're not - in order to gain advantage
a concession is something you let someone do or have after a disagreement
security guarantees
promises about protection
to back down
if you back down, you decide not to do something you had threatened to do
stockpile of nuclear weapons
a large store of something to be used in the future
a serious dispute between two groups with different opinions
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