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Constructive solution to NK nuke, missile issues hoped: Boucher

Constructive solution to NK nuke, missile issues hoped: Boucher

Posted February. 23, 2001 18:45,   


North Korean ambassador to the U.N. Li Hyong-Chol, noting that future North Korea-U.S. relations hinge on Washington`s North Korea stance, said Thursday that if the U.S. fails to implement agreements with Pyongyang, the North would not keep them. Li made the remarks in a meeting with South Korean reporters Thursday evening in Washington, prior to the start of a performance by a North Korean art troupe. Asked about the outlook for North Korea-U.S. relations, Li quipped, ``You had better ask the Bush administration.`` He said that if the U.S. fails to make good on its agreements with the North, his government wouldn`t hold up their end.

Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice warned that Pyongyang`s threats to resume test-firing missiles and renounce the 1994 Agreed Framework could have adverse effects for the communist state. Rice said in a press conference North Korea`s threats would not serve the interests of Pyongyang. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a regular press briefing that the U.S. government was studying the concrete contents of its North Korean policy and hoping that the North`s nuclear and missile issues would be resolved in a constructive manner. Boucher noted that contacts between the two countries were underway, mainly at the United Nations, but that these bilateral contacts were made at the working-level. He went on to say that Washington had no plans to hold governmental-level talks, indicating that the Bush administration was unlikely to immediately push for an official dialogue with Pyongyang.

Han Ki-Heung eligius@donga.com