27 July 2005

Kim’s Military Tour and Readings to Pass the Time

As the six-party talks got underway in Beijing, North Korea prepared to mark the 53rd anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement. In the days leading up to this momentous occasion (the anniversary and the talks), Kim Jong Il made several visits to military facilities in the North.

On July 17 he dropped by the “newly-built general foodstuff processing factory under KPA Unit 534.” Two days later, he visited the “Unit 937 honored with the title of Kum Song Lifeguard situated on the forefront.” On July 20, he “inspected the command of KPA Unit 118,” and on the 21st he “inspected KPA Unit 2653.” After a visit to a saltern in Wonsan Bay, he resumed military visits July 23, inspecting “companies under KPA Unit 287,” and on July 25 he “inspected KPA Unit 503.”

Kim clearly made it a point to highlight his military just before the six-party talks resumed. The fact that he had such a fll schedule also suggests whatever major decisions or possible outcomes he expected from the six-party talks he felt he was pretty secure on, and didn’t take one of his long-times-off to devise a new strategy or prepare to make a major policy shift.

As folks await the outcome of the current round of six-party talks, here are a few things to read to add some background knowledge or alternative viewpoints.

Armistice Agreement

Chosun Sinbo on DPRK-US Relations

Agreed Framework (DPRK Pub)

Agreed Framework (Via Arms Control Association)

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

North Korea Nuclear Program Map and Chart (From CEIP)

A few studies on the 1993 nuclear crisis
The 1993 North Korean Nuclear Crisis: A Foreign Policy Analysis

The North Korean Nuclear Proliferation Crisis

Nautilus Institute’s DPRK Briefing Book

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