There are renewed calls for the rebooting of the six-party talks for denuclearizing North Korea, as the deadlock in the North Korea-U.S. negotiations shows signs of getting prolonged.
Japan’s NHK television reported Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would likely propose resuming the six-party denuclearization talks during a summit with visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday. NHK quoted a senior Russian government official as also saying that Moscow had already made the proposal to Washington and Beijing. At a security forum hosted by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a private think tank in Seoul, a day earlier, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg also called for a six-party roadmap, adding that the denuclearization talks need to become “more practical.”
The six-party framework that started in 2003, involving the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, China, and Russia, has been suspended since the 12th round of talks in December 2008. As Washington and Pyongyang began top-down bilateral dialogue, the multilateral forum has been considered an obsolete model.
Some experts say that the six-party framework makes it very difficult to have substantial denuclearization talks. “While the multilateral talks made it possible to stably control the crisis, it was not suitable for resolving the issue in a short period of time,” said a former South Korean diplomat. “The involvement of multiple actors is likely to cause delays in resolving the issue.”
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