UN Heads to N. Korea, Tale of Two Swedes for Envoy, Kim Intrigue Grows
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 7 -- As the UN's four
person team approaches North
Korea, sources tell Inner City Press that they will be proposing a
special envoy. The last was Maurice Strong, until allegations of
corruption removed him from the post.
say most sources. Sweden's current Ambassador to Pyongyang, since
2005 and certainly ready for a change, is Mats
Foyer. His embassy
represents U.S. interests in North Korea, so some might think it
strange for him to assume a UN role.
as Swedish Ambassador in Pyongyang, from 2001-2005, was Paul Beijer,
Ambassador in Bulgaria. He served as a senior
advisor to the Swedish foreign ministry on DPRK issues from 2005 to
Kim Jong-Il and Swedish flag, music piracy and UN
Beijer's views may be gleaned from the
You have served as the Special Advisor to the Swedish Government on
Korean Peninsula Issues and as Swedish Ambassador to the DPRK in
Pyongyang. What do you think is the best course of action for the
international community, and the EU in particular, in the recent
crises with the North Korean weapon tests?
The DPRK has chosen a path of economic, political and cultural
isolation for a very long time. This makes it less susceptible than
most countries to the measures in our "toolbox" for
international relations. I therefore don't believe there is a "quick
fix" to the North Korean nuclear issue.
leave the DPRK in continued isolation, would, in my personal opinion,
not lead to constructive results. Patient diplomacy, dialogue and
exchanges holds out the best hope for greater stability and perhaps a
resolution to the nuclear issue in the longer run. That being said, I
realize that in this age of short political time horizons this is not
an easy course for the international community to stick to for a
protracted period of time. The Six-Party talks were, and are, a good
way to impart an element of long-term stability to a negotiated
resolution of the nuclear crisis. These talks should continue.
EU is contributing very constructively to that process by supporting
it, and at the same time not insisting on a seat at the negotiating
table. A seven-party process would, for purely practical reasons, be
more cumbersome and less likely to lead to a good result.
any other effort, the Six-Party process in the end requires North
Korea to perceive that it is in its own interest to reach a result.
So far, I'm sorry to say, that does not seem to be the case. But the
DPRK's own situation is not static, and patience is therefore
required on the part of the international community. We too must be
able to play a waiting game.
though, say that Ban Ki-moon and his most special advisor Kim Won-soo
just might propose a South Korean. It would seem to be a conflict,
but if Kim Jong-Il accepts, it would be a coup. Watch this site.
* * *
UN's Ban Rolls Dice on N. Korea Trip, Kim Won-soo Is
Asked to Brief Press
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 3 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, returning
from a brief trip during which protesters in South Sudan told him to
"repent before judgment" while he was snubbed in Cyprus by
four political parties, is said by close observers to be "rolling
the dice" on a trip to
be remembered as the S-G when the Koreas reunited," the close
insider said. "If it happens, all the other failures will be
the upcoming trip to Ban's closest inner circle is reflected by on
the record quotes that his main advisor Kim Won soo -- Ban's Karl
Rove, as some put it -- gave
to the JoongAng Daily. Inner City Press
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, with his own Korean
connections, about the quote at Wednesday noon briefing, UN
City Press... You said the other three members; who are the other
three members of Mr. Pascoe’s team?
Nesirky: Kim Won-soo, the Deputy Chef de Cabinet is one of them, and
two other members of staff.
City Press: Of DPA or of the Executive Office of the Secretary
One of each.
City Press: Okay. I had asked earlier about when it was first
announced that Kim Won-soo was quoted in Joong Ang Daily, describing
the trip, saying it may have a nuclear component, as well as
humanitarian. So, I was wondering, I mean, those are his quotes,
right? That he spoke on the record Joong Ang?
Well, you have to ask Kim Won-soo.
City Press: That’s why I asked. When it first came up, I actually
asked whether he could be a part of the briefing with Lynn Pascoe,
since I don’t think he’s ever briefed the media on the record,
but he seems to have a pretty important role within the Executive
Office of the Secretariat, and obviously he is willing to speak on
the record to at least some media. Is that possible to convey that
UN's Kim, at left, with UN's Ban and Munoz, on glaciers
I will certainly convey it.
Ban and his entourage, including Vijay Nambiar and Lynn Pascoe,
passed the Press at the Security Council stakeout, Kim Won-soo waved
over. Correspondents recounted anecdotes from Ban's trip last month
to Haiti. There was general agreement: Mister Kim must brief the
press, and on the record. We'll see. Watch this site.