Here's the link to a congressman grilling South Korean PM:
C: North Korea requested for the return of the defectors. What is the official opinion?
PM: I don't think it's appropriate to tell you now.
C: What a... they came by their free will and...so... they can be deported back?
PM: um... that issue hasn't been discussed yet (pause) yes.
C: They came for their freedom
PM: But.. I'm trying to say the most honest and correct answer here. I don't think it's appropriate to tell you now.
(more murmurs on the back)
PM: I expect you to know...that not everything can be disclosed.
PM: (The gov.) is not expecting to deport them
C: that is a extremely hard answer to get
C: can't we just show our good will? what was so difficult?
PM: well as you know, the non-ruling parliament members, things are not that simple.
C: Not deporting the defectors is non-negotiable.
C: It shouldn't be traded for something else.
C: You shouldn't even contemplate about this.Be firm.
C: And the gov. should keep pace with US gov's footsteps on NK human rights.
I asked someone else (a law school grad) about this video, and he told me it's good manners to keep one's mouth shut in international negotiations.
So I then asked him why such "manners" matters so much, and he replied: "everything can be a possibility in a negotiation, and opening up might limit what's possible" "opening up a negotiation will allow public opinion to influence the negotiation process, and no one will try to negotiate anything with such party/entity"
And googling further, I came to this google book link:
which says "deployment of such commitment can wind up in stalemate.... Once a position is declared, it's difficult to reverse it (make a concession) without loss of one's reputation".
So my question is: is there more reason to avoid opening up the negotiation other than what the book's paragraph says?
Also, Would immediately replying "no, it's one of our core values to not allow such thing" and then publicly saying what oneself said in a negotation bad manners?
(i.e. Would it be bad manners even when you're not saying what the other side said? Even when what the other side said is public?)