G8 Leaders’ Statements are long on aspiration, and this year, just plain long. But in case you didn’t get to paragraph 93, the portion of the statement dealing with North Korea is reproduced below.
There is, however, a serious point to be made. The statement makes the case that North Korean needs to “engage constructively in credible and authentic talks,” code words for sending some plausible signals of seriousness of intent. But the statement is also a reminder that the multilateral actions taken against North Korea are exactly that: multilateral statements that capture a collective sense of North Korean obligations. Even if the United States were to engage with North Korea bilaterally, the “relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks” still pertain.
North Korea no doubt dismisses the G8 as a cabal of its sworn enemies. But Russia signed on to the statement and there is little doubt that China would be quite comfortable with the wording as well.
G8 Leaders Communique
June 18, 2013
93. We remain deeply concerned about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. North Korea must meet its international obligations by completely, verifiably and irreversibly abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It must engage constructively in credible and authentic multilateral talks and refrain from provocative actions. It must abide by its obligations under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. Whilst it refuses to meet these obligations, we call on the international community to ensure full implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea. We urge North Korea to address the concerns of the international community over its human rights violations, including the abductions issue and treatment of refugees returned to North Korea.