US expert says Obama team developing new policy on North Korea

February 3rd, 2009 - 7:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

New Delhi, Feb.3 (ANI): The Barack Obama’’s team is planning to develop a new, coherent US policy to deal with North Korea and its nuclear issues, Dr. Ralph A. Cossa, a US foreign policy expert and founding member of the Steering Committee of the multinational Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSAP), said here today at a seminar organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
According to an ORF release, Dr. Cossa, who is the president of Pacific Forum, CSIS, Honolulu, said the policy would be based on the current six-party talks (on the North Korean nuclear issue) format and it would be coordinated with Japan and South Korea.
“The problem is that whether North Korea will give the luxury of spending couple of month together to act together”, he wondered.
Delivering a talk on “US Security Policy in East Asia” at Observer Research Foundation, Dr. Cossa, who co-chairs CSAP International Study Group on Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Asia Pacific Region and Executive Director of the US Member Committee (UNCSCAP), said the problem now is that “North Korea sees itself as India of East Asia” and wants exception as India was granted under the India-US nuclear deal.
He said North Korea wants a “de facto nuclear weapon state status.”
Dr. Cossa, who has been involved in Tract II diplomacy for over three decades, said earlier North Korea used to say they are the Pakistan of East Asia. He noted that it is easier for them to explain why North Korea is not the India in East Asia.
Dr. Cossa does not envisage much change in the US’’s East Asia policy though President Obama came to power on the platform of “change”. “US foreign policy is always driven by national interests and they do not change every four years or eight years. So, it is safe to say that there would be more continuity than change,” he said.
He said the US policy in Asia is based on “certain givens and foundations of alliance structure and bilateral relations”. “That has been the case for 40-50 years and it will continue to be the case,” he said, noting the strong US-Japan relations and its relevance and importance in the US policy in Asia.
Dr. Cossa said US would continue its policy of ”engaging China” as it believes China should be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. He said this is how US had managed rising Germany in the 20th century.
Though “China itself is capable of making itself part of the problem”, he expected the Obama Administration to continue President Bush’’s policy of making China a responsible stake holder.
At the same time, the US would continue to hedge against other possibilities as we do not know how China would look like once it has risen.
“We understand and they know that China can rise only peacefully. But the big question is how it would look like, once it has risen. We see some positive signs. We also see some negative signs. There are apprehensions about China in Japan, Korea and elsewhere”
“We will hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That would be our real China policy,” Dr. Cossa said.
He said the best thing to happen in the last few years was the engagement of India in Asia and the strengthening of relations between the US and India. (ANI)

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