A defiant Pyongyang declaring itself a nuclear power and threatening to increase its arsenal unless UN sanctions imposed on it since its October 9 nuclear test and remove financial restrictions that prompted the bankrupt nation to break-off the 6 nation dialogue 13 months ago. North Korea (NK) also said that it wants a reactor built to generate electricity and wants the US to honor its commitments to it over a decade ago and help it with that project. Further, as a nuclear power, it demanded the other five of the 6-nation process (the US, Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea) treat it on par with the US.
The US offered to normalize relations with Pyongyang on the condition that the communist nation stops its nuclear program immediately because its "supply of our patience may have exceeded the international demand for that patience." US Chief Negotiator and Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill urged all nations in the dialogue process to "be a little less patient and pick up the pace and work faster."
As usual, NK's chief ally, China, stalled and said it would rather push for results and use the September 2005 agreement where Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees and aid. Japanese negotiator acknowledged that "The position of the North Korean delegation is wide apart from the rest of us and we cannot accept it" and South Korean delegate agreed saying that the North had entered negotiations with a maximum number of conditions.
Financially bankrupt NK wanted to discuss financial restrictions placed on it and especially against a Macao bank with which the regime had bank accounts but the US, which has seen successful tactical play by Pyongyang to divide opinion among interlocutors, said that those discussions can be held in separate meetings. However, this time around, opinion against NK seemed to have hardened after it tested a low-yield nuclear device. Significantly, even Beijing has opposed the move and has openly asked for a rollback and joined a unanimous UN Security Council resolution sanctioning NK but refused to go as far as Washington and Tokyo wants to go. Its argument has been that pushing Pyongyang further into the corner will make it more unpredictable and dangerous and instead the group should restart negotiations based on the September 2005 agreement. South Korea, closer to the Chinese position, says that NK should "take bold and substantial initial steps to dismantle its nuclear program" but the other five countries should also initiate measures that should "be bold and substantial."
The US entered into a nonsensical deal with Pyongyang in 1994 where it promised it help and aid in exchange for a stoppage of its nuclear weapons program in the hope that NK's hard-line leader will not live for a long time. As he continued to live, the US did not implement its part of the deal but demanded that NK adhere to its commitment which angered the communist regime and pushing into a confrontational path. The conversation broke down in late 2002 when Washington revealed that NK is working on a secret nuclear program that Pyongyang accepted. After accepting the charge, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expelled international inspectors, and restarted its main reactor to make plutonium bombs.