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Heads of the US, China to Discuss Nuke Issue

Posted October. 21, 2002 23:04,   


There were talks yesterday between the US, Japan and Russia, and Korea and Japan in a bid to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin is scheduled to leave for the US today for summit talks with US President George W. Bush, which is slated for Oct. 25. He plans to visit Chicago, Huston and San Francisco, then visit President Bush`s ranch in Crawford, Texas for summit talks. Then Jiang is expected to attend the APEC meeting in Los Cobos, Mexico on Oct. 26 and 27.

Chinese sources said that during his visit to the US, Jiang would solidify China`s collaboration with the US to address the North Korea nuke issue.

James Kelly, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, held one-on-one meetings yesterday with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Gawaguchi and Assistant Cabinet Secretary Shinjo Abe. Meanwhile, John Bolton, the US Undersecretary of State for arms control will meet with three Russian cabinet members when he visits Moscow on Oct. 21 and 22, local time.

Japanese Kyodo News Agency quoted Kelly as saying, “We should be very careful in deciding whether to nullify the Basic Framework between the US and North Korea. The US has yet to make a final decision on whether to withdraw from the agreement”

According to the news agency, however, Kelly expressed deep concern over the fact that North Korea has exploited the loopholes of the Basic Agreement to secretly develop nuclear weapons, thereby mentioning the possibility that the US could fully withdraw from the agreement it concluded with the North Korea.

Japanese Assistant Cabinet Secretary Abe delivered the position of the Japanese government that it would demand that North Korea honor the Geneva Agreement through its proposed talks with North Korea to normalize their diplomatic ties. He added that Japan wants the Basic Framework to remain intact since it has served as a means to deter North Korea`s nuclear development so far.

Both countries agreed to confer closely with each other and with South Korea in order to solve the nuclear crisis in a peaceful manner and to coax North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapons.

Korea and Japan held talks the same day over the North Korean nuke issue. Lee Tae-sik, Korean Deputy Foreign Minister and Hitoshi Tanaka, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry`s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau agreed that North Korea nuke possession cannot be tolerated and that both countries would jointly urge North Korea to end its nuclear development program.

In particular, after confirming each other`s position on the nullification of the Geneva Agreement, both countries are reported to have had a prior consultation for the three-way summit talks between Korea, the US and Japan, which will be held on Oct. 26 in Mexico.

Meanwhile, the US is expected to ask Russia to participate in the international collaboration to persuade the North to give up its nuclear development program through Bolton`s visit to Russia.

Russia is expected to support the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, but oppose the US pressure on North Korea.

Bolton will visit the UK, France and Belgium after his visit to Russia to coordinate the opinions of the US allies about the nuclear issue.