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Victor Cha: So you might be wondering what it’s like to be negotiating with North Korean officials. Contrary to what you might believe, they don't have horns on their head.  The people that we negotiated with tend to be people from the foreign ministry who cover North American affairs. And they tend to be quite well-educated.  They speak English.  They ask questions about our primary process.  They ask questions about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich. They are not devils in any way.  They are simply the cream of the crop of their foreign ministry that are trying to make deals to get what they want from the United States in these nuclear negotiations.

Now, having said that, there's clearly something that we want from North Korea, and there's something they want from us.  It’s a very difficult negotiation because we are often seeking for them to give up all of their nuclear weapons, and they have a very long list of things they want from us.  So the negotiation itself is quite complex and at times very difficult, long hours, very little sleep.  But, in the end, I mean, they are human beings representing their government and they operate, in that sense, according to regular diplomatic protocols.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

More from the Big Idea for Friday, December 07 2012

Today's Big Idea: Global Risk

Here's what we know about North Korea. The so-called 'Hermit Kingdom' has rudimentary nuclear weapons and is led by a young man named Kim Jong-un, who might be in his 20s. Kim has purged every gen... Read More…


Negotiating With North Kore...

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