North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Six Party Squawk

Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Party of Five has arrived at a general consensus about proposals aimed at the North Koreans’ return trip to the Six Party Talks:

According to sources, the United States is considering including in the proposal a plan to realize three goals–denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, conclusion of a peace treaty and economic assistance for North Korea. By conveying these intentions to Pyongyang, Washington hopes to draw North Korea back to the talks.

Yonhap reports that the US has (for the umpteenth time) called for the DPRK’s return to the 6PT at a State Department media availability.  Yonhap also reports the possibility of another trip by an unnamed US representative to make the case to the North Koreans:

Pyongyang has boycotted the six-party talks, which also involve South Korea, China, Japan and Russia, citing U.N. resolutions adopted after the North’s nuclear and missile tests early last year. The resolutions instituted financial sanctions, an overall arms embargo and the interdiction of suspicious cargo on the high seas.

U.S. officials have hinted at another face-to-face meeting to facilitate the reopening of the negotiations since Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, failed to woo the North back to the table. Bosworth’s trip to Pyongyang last month marked the Obama administration’s first high-level official contact with the North.

There was a recent report that China cut its promised aid based on the DPRK’s reticence at returning to the 6PT.  This did not stop a friendly chinwag between outgoing PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Xiaoming and KWP International Secretary Choe Thae-bok and KWP Propaganda (Publicity) Secretary Kim Ki-nam at the People’s Palace of Culture, according to KCNA:

Choe Thae Bok and Kim Ki-nam, secretaries of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, met and had talks with Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Xiaoming at the People’s Palace of Culture on Tuesday when the latter paid a farewell call on them.

On the other side of the KWP Munitions Industry Department and Second Economic Committee‘s ongoing activities, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says that the DPRK has seen a 90% drop in weapons exports:

North Korea’s weapons exports have reportedly dropped 90 percent since the UN Security Council slapped unprecedented sanctions on the communist regime last year that included the banning of all arms exports from the country.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says even African countries and Vietnam, which used to import small weapons from North Korea, have stopped their transactions with the reclusive country.

However, the institute said Iran may still be receiving weapons from North Korea as it has long been a key supplier of missile technology to the Middle Eastern country.

An affiliate of 38 North