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.
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.