Analysts view Kim Jong-il's mention of a moratorium on nuclear testing, if six party talks resume, more as a gesture to Russian hosts than as a serious promise.
Dmitry Astakhov/Presidential Press Service/RIA Novosti/AP
Seoul, South Korea
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il’s reported promise to Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev to put a “moratorium” on nuclear testing should six-party talks resume struck a hollow note Thursday among officials and analysts assessing the summit in Siberia.
As Mr. Kim returns home by train from his meeting with Mr. Medvedev in the Russian far east, officials in Washington and Seoul are saying the pledge adds little, if anything, to efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program.
One problem, say analysts in Seoul, is that so far there is no confirmation of what was said beyond a statement by a Russian spokeswoman that Mr. Kim told Mr. Medvedev that “his country will be ready to solve the problem of imposing a moratorium on the tests and production of nuclear weapons.”