USIP working paper on disabling DPRK nuclear facilities

There is a new United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Working Paper entitled “Disabling DPRK nuclear facilities” written by David Albright and Paul Brannan. From the working paper:

The primary goals of this Working Paper are twofold. First, to establish a definition for the term “disablement” which has only recently achieved widespread usage in the disarmament and nonproliferation community. Second, to outline the types of steps that will or could be taken at key facilities in the DPRK to achieve various disablement objectives.

It is a very good paper from a very reputable source. If you want to know more (and learn exactly what is going on behind the political jargon being thrown around) then this is an excellent read. Basically what it is all about is:

…the disablement of a facility has come to mean a deliberate, mutually agreed action or set of actions taken to make it relatively more difficult and time-consuming to restart a facility after it is shut down. Disablement actions go beyond simply shutting down, sealing, and monitoring a facility. Although disablement steps can be reversed and the facility restarted, it would take an extended period of time to do so.

The paper goes on to give a very readable explanation of exactly how disablement should proceed. It also gives a range of options on medium to permanent disablement of DPRK facilities.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the paper to me was not just the useful explanation, but also the insight into the negotiations. In particular, the following lines:

According to one participant in the negotiations, the DPRK did not want the IAEA to become involved in the disablement process, and instead wanted the United States to do the disabling. The other parties objected to this essentially bilateral process, wanting their own assurances about disablement. The compromise was that the United States would take the lead on disablement.

It really makes me wonder. What were the possible reasons for the DPRK to not want the IAEA involved? Why did they prefer the US to do the disablement?

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