La poderosa debilidad de Corea del Norte

CAMBRIDGE – El mes pasado, el presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, y el presidente de China, Xi Jinping, celebraron en California una “cumbre en mangas de camisa”, y Corea del Norte fue un tema importante de conversación. Aunque la cuestión en sí no era nueva, esta vez cambió el tono del diálogo.

Hace más de dos décadas, el Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica encontró a Corea del Norte en violación de su acuerdo de salvaguardias y reprocesando plutonio. Luego el gobierno del presidente Bill Clinton negoció un acuerdo marco con Corea del Norte, pero en 2003 el país lo abandonó, expulsó a los inspectores del OIEA, se retiró del Tratado de No Proliferación Nuclear y desde entonces ha detonado tres dispositivos nucleares y realizado una variedad de ensayos misilísticos.

A lo largo de estas dos décadas, funcionarios estadounidenses y chinos han discutido frecuentemente la conducta norcoreana, tanto en forma privada como en el marco de reuniones públicas. Los chinos han dicho una y otra vez que no querían que Corea del Norte desarrollara armas nucleares; pero también aseguraron que su influencia sobre el régimen es limitada (a pesar de que China es el principal proveedor de alimentos y combustibles de Corea del Norte). El resultado fue un intercambio de mensajes hasta cierto punto previsible, en el que China y Estados Unidos se limitaron a proclamar la desnuclearización como objetivo compartido.

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