On the 10th anniversary of the Joint Statement, it’s time for these six countries — China, the United States, Russia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea — to re-enter into serious negotiations and build upon the 2005 Joint Statement. There’s much that has transpired during the past 10 years, mostly in a negative direction. Immediately following the signing of the Joint Statement there was some progress in the implementation of this agreement. North Korea halted its plutonium program at Yongbyan, discussed the monitoring required to verify the North’s denuclearization commitments, and joined the other countries in discussions dealing with security cooperation in Northeast Asia.
Unfortunately, in 2008 North Korea refused to sign a comprehensive monitoring and verification agreement that would have permitted monitors to visit any site in North Korea, any time, with the ability to take samples, interview scientists and review all records dealing with North Korea’s nuclear programs. To date, Six-Party negotiations have not resumed.