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A Roadmap for EU-North Korea Relations

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A Roadmap for EU – North Korea Relations Based on existent EU relations with Vietnam and Cambodia Francesc Pont Casellas Màster Oficial en Integració Europea Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Contents CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................................. 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................
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     A  A R R ooaaddmmaappf f oorr EEUU– –NNoorrtthhK K oorreeaaR R eellaattiioonnss   Based on existent EU relations with Vietnam and Cambodia Francesc Pont CasellasMàster Oficial en Integració EuropeaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona  1 Contents CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................................. 1   INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................... 2   WHY VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA? .......................................................................................................... 4   B ACKGROUND INFORMATION :   V IETNAM ............................................................................................................ 4   B ACKGROUND INFORMATION :   C AMBODIA ......................................................................................................... 5   B ACKGROUND INFORMATION :   N ORTH K OREA  ..................................................................................................... 6   S IMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES ........................................................................................................................ 7   T HE THREE COUNTRIES AT A GLANCE ................................................................................................................. 8   CURRENT AND RECENT EU – NORTH KOREA RELATIONS ........................................................................ 9   THE RELATIONSHIP WITH VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA .......................................................................... 10   B ASIC FRAMEWORK ..................................................................................................................................... 10   T RADE RELATIONS ....................................................................................................................................... 12   D EVELOPMENT COOPERATION ....................................................................................................................... 14   H UMANITARIAN AID .................................................................................................................................... 18   P OLITICAL DIALOGUE .................................................................................................................................... 19   Bilateral dialogue ............................................................................................................................... 19   Multilateral dialogue ......................................................................................................................... 21   D EMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS PROMOTION ................................................................................................ 22   A PROPOSAL FOR NORTH KOREA ......................................................................................................... 24   F IRST PHASE ............................................................................................................................................... 24   S ECOND PHASE ........................................................................................................................................... 26   CONCLUSIONS...................................................................................................................................... 32   REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................................... 33   N ORTH K OREA ........................................................................................................................................... 33   V IETNAM ................................................................................................................................................... 33   C AMBODIA ................................................................................................................................................ 34   EU   F OREIGN A CTION F INANCIAL I NSTRUMENTS ................................................................................................ 35   T HEMATIC PROGRAMMES OF THE DCI ............................................................................................................. 35   T RADE P OLICY ............................................................................................................................................ 36   R EGIONAL C OOPERATION ............................................................................................................................. 36   O THER REFERENCE SITES ............................................................................................................................... 36    2 Introduction This paper focuses on a hypothetical case study that requires a notable change of thecurrent state of affairs to take place. Nowadays, international cooperation with NorthKorea is, at best, a very tense affair: broken rounds of talks for nuclear disarmament,condemnation of violent attacks, negligible trade relations (excluding arms traffickingand military know-how transfers to some countries), etc. North Korea’s menace-baseddiplomacy and isolated, autarchic economy makes it impossible for international actorssuch as the European Union to improve their ties with the Hermit Kingdom.However, amidst the overall confusion surrounding the Kim regime, there is a ‘new, bright light it the sky’, as the official propaganda puts it: the future ascent to power of Kim Jong-il’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, probably by 2012. To make the transitionsmoother, the young, Western-educated Jong-un will probably be surrounded by KimJong-il's sister Kim Kyong-hui and her husband Jang Song-taek.How this triumvirate will lead the country starting on the year marking the 100 th   birthday of eternal leader Kim Il-sung, whereupon the North Korean government has pledged to convert the country into a prosperous and modern one, remains a mystery.However, leadership changes in reclusive Communist countries are usually catalysts for change: China in 1978, the USSR in 1985 or, more recently, Cuba are fine examples of aggressive reform agendas being applied by new leaders leading up to a progressive – or radical – opening of the economies and the political system.What should the European Union do, therefore, if the new North Korean regime showssigns of openness and a real willingness to negotiate with international actors in order tomodernize and open up its economy and progressively adopt measures to change the political scene of the country? We could easily imagine a smooth transition to a‘socialist-based market economy’ with a strong, one party leadership, along the lines of China or Vietnam.In what would be the best possible short term scenario – avoiding a sudden collapse of the regime and the humanitarian crisis it would unleash –, the EU should be ready tostep in and make its voice heard in the region, along with those of China, South Korea,the US, Japan or Russia.  3 The European Union has many decades of experience in building bridges with thirdcountries, and it also possesses several political and economic instruments to make suchrelationships effective. The question is which instruments and methods should beapplied in this hypothetical case.This comparative analysis aims to be a possible answer to that question: by studying thecurrent framework of the EU’s relations with two countries that share severalcharacteristics with North Korea, we can put forward a set of proposals for futurerelations with a more cooperative Kim regime.Vietnam and Cambodia, two former Communist countries – Vietnam still is one, at leastin name –, both situated in South East Asia and consumed by long, deadly wars duringthe last third of the 20 th century, were the countries chosen for the analysis. Being under the direct sphere of influence of the Chinese giant, they have opted for multipolar diplomacy and integration in the world economy as a way to reinforce their independentstatus and the best path to progressively raise income and welfare levels for their citizens.As we will see, the EU has comprehensive relations with both these countries: fromtrade-related cooperation to development cooperation, from political dialogue to goodgovernance and democracy promotion. A deep and comprehensive analysis of therelations between the EU and these two countries will let us single out exportablestructures and instruments – while also realizing their weaknesses –, but also detect andtake into consideration key differences that will give a unique personality to any futurecooperation framework between the EU and North Korea.Those successful examples of deepening relations will help devise a basic strategy for  North Korea, based both on the similarities between the three countries and the particularities of the North Korean case.
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